Minority report: 50 year warming due to natural causes

Warming in Last 50 Years Predicted by Natural Climate Cycles

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/earthmoonsun_small.jpg?w=720

One of the main conclusions of the 2007 IPCC report was that the warming over the last 50 years was most likely due to anthropogenic pollution, especially increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel burning.

But a minority of climate researchers have maintained that some — or even most — of that warming could have been due to natural causes. For instance, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) are natural modes of climate variability which have similar time scales to warming and cooling periods during the 20th Century. Also, El Nino — which is known to cause global-average warmth — has been more frequent in the last 30 years or so; the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is a measure of El Nino and La Nina activity.

A simple way to examine the possibility that these climate cycles might be involved in the warming over the last 50 years in to do a statistical comparison of the yearly temperature variations versus the PDO, AMO, and SOI yearly values. But of course, correlation does not prove causation.

So, what if we use the statistics BEFORE the last 50 years to come up with a model of temperature variability, and then see if that statistical model can “predict” the strong warming over the most recent 50 year period? That would be much more convincing because, if the relationship between temperature and these 3 climate indicies for the first half of the 20th Century just happened to be accidental, we sure wouldn’t expect it to accidentally predict the strong warming which has occurred in the second half of the 20th Century, would we?

Temperature, or Temperature Change Rate?
This kind of statistical comparison is usually performed with temperature. But there is greater physical justification for using the temperature change rate, instead of temperature. This is because if natural climate cycles are correlated to the time rate of change of temperature, that means they represent heating or cooling influences, such as changes in global cloud cover (albedo).

Such a relationship, shown in the plot below, would provide a causal link of these natural cycles as forcing mechanisms for temperature change, since the peak forcing then precedes the peak temperature.

Predicting Northern Hemispheric Warming Since 1960
Since most of the recent warming has occurred over the Northern Hemisphere, I chose to use the CRUTem3 yearly record of Northern Hemispheric temperature variations for the period 1900 through 2009. From this record I computed the yearly change rates in temperature. I then linearly regressed these 1-year temperature change rates against the yearly average values of the PDO, AMO, and SOI.

I used the period from 1900 through 1960 for “training” to derive this statistical relationship, then applied it to the period 1961 through 2009 to see how well it predicted the yearly temperature change rates for that 50 year period. Then, to get the model-predicted temperatures, I simply added up the temperature change rates over time.

The result of this exercise in shown in the following plot.

What is rather amazing is that the rate of observed warming of the Northern Hemisphere since the 1970’s matches that which the PDO, AMO, and SOI together predict, based upon those natural cycles’ PREVIOUS relationships to the temperature change rate (prior to 1960).

Again I want to emphasize that my use of the temperature change rate, rather than temperature, as the predicted variable is based upon the expectation that these natural modes of climate variability represent forcing mechanisms — I believe through changes in cloud cover — which then cause a lagged temperature response.

This is powerful evidence that most of the warming that the IPCC has attributed to human activities over the last 50 years could simply be due to natural, internal variability in the climate system. If true, this would also mean that (1) the climate system is much less sensitive to the CO2 content of the atmosphere than the IPCC claims, and (2) future warming from greenhouse gas emissions will be small.

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191 thoughts on “Minority report: 50 year warming due to natural causes

  1. Very interesting, but what’s missing is what the model shows for the next ten/twenty/hundred years. That would allow the model to be judged on its predictive capabilities.

  2. been sayin this all along. Just wait until the AMO goes cold. WE’ll Tank. Hopefully, we dont get any colder than ’76, or we have a problem. With the low solar cycle…….

  3. The planet has been warming, albeit at a markedly decreased pace regardless of Hansen’s bizarre exaggerations, that contradict Russia, China, Japan, other credible and extremely focused nations. I expect a cooling after the warming hits historical averages and plateaus for similar times. Hopefully the increased CO2 will moderate the coming cold spell via greater biomass and atmospheric climate. Because for the last 4 million years runaway cold has been the problem. Not heat.

  4. Dr. Spencer, I went to your link, skipped to the end, sadly, I found no opportunity to respond, so, here I am!

    “…….which then cause a lagged temperature response.”

    I don’t understand why there would be a delay in response time. Don’t clouds respond as soon as they are formed? What signal are you gauging that requires a lag? IR doesn’t move that slow. Today, the sun was covered by clouds. The various rocks were cool and a bit moist. Later the sun was allowed to shine. Within a brief period of time the temp increased a matter of almost 20 degrees F. Later today, clouds formed and night has occurred. Twenty degrees back the other way. Lagged? Not to where it would show on a graph over a century of time. What is lagging? How is it lagging? Real earth temps aren’t lagging. I’m experiencing the “lack of lag” right now.

  5. Thanks for the post, Dr. Spencer. I’m very much an AGW skeptic, so I don’t discount the idea that there are natural variabilities in the climate system that greatly outweigh human influences. However, I think the weakness in this post is the idea that decadal oscillations in climate properties are potentially drivers of climate warming over time. I believe it is more likely that something else is driving both the global temperature averages, as well as the PDO, AMO, and SOI changes over that same time period. AGW proponents say the driver is CO2; I think the main driver is the sun: i.e., changes in the type and angle of energy that reaches the Earth.

    The fact that you have shown such a strong relationship is compelling, particularly since the testing period is so qualitatively different than the training period. However, the bar is very high for rejecting the default assumption: the sun drives climate, including changes in decadal oscillations. After all, once you have shown that changes in the PDO, AMO, and SOI predict the climate, then you have to answer the question: what caused these three to change qualitatively over the last 50 years? (Or show that the is no qualitative change in them, but instead they have merely combined together in an unusual way, one that won’t be seen again for quite a while.)

    Cheers,

    -Ted

  6. Hi,

    your blog entry here is not very clear. I feel like some very important information is missing:
    1- You state that the “natural” mode reproduces the temperature changes and that this is due to “natural” cycles. For what I see, the model has been trained on the 1900-1970 period, where actually anthropogenic contributions are believed to have been already high. So, to summarize, it really looks like you’re fitting a signal that already has more than “natural” variability. What would be more convincing is to train it on, say, the 1800-1850 period and than predict what happens during the 20th century.

    2- There’s an abrupt change in temps after 1970 in your graph, so giben your correlation analysis it means there’s been an abrupt change in the natural indices (such as PDO). How could we have been predicting this back in the 60ies?

    3- the model wouldn’t account for an GHG-induced increase of the frequency of El Ninos, for example.

    Would you be so kind as to comment back on these issues?
    Yours,
    Rob

  7. Graeme W: June 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    Very interesting, but what’s missing is what the model shows for the next ten/twenty/hundred years. That would allow the model to be judged on its predictive capabilities.

    I would say that this exercise shows something potentially quite helpful, even without the ability to predict anything beyond today. Note that the PDO, AMO, and SOI values are the independent variables in this model, and after finding the coefficients for each one during the first 60 years, the blue curve is the result of using their measured values for the final 50 years, along with those coefficients. We don’t have measured values of the PDO, AMO, and SOI for the future, so it isn’t possible to make that kind of prediction.

    What the model establishes for me is a degree of plausibility. If it weren’t for what looks like a one-time 0.2°C up-tick in Crutem3 at some point in the mid-1970’s (for who knows what reason), the blue curve would be right on top of the red one all the way up to the present. Granted, this is a phenomenological model, but it certainly lends support to the notion that the recent temperature changes have been primarily the result of variations in those three ‘natural’ quantities.

    What causes those three quantities to change in that way is another matter.

    /dr.bill

  8. Matching the rates of change means there is a constant of integration to be supplied by some other means. You appear to have done this by arbitrarily setting the model to match the temperature in 1900. It would make more sense to adjust it to give the best match (least squares) for the whole training period. That would lower the blue curve somewhat, leaving a substantial unexplained gap from 1975 onwards. Indeed, the gap appears to have grown by 0.5 deg C since the period 1900-1920.
    Also, please clarify whether the regression was performed against PDO, AMO, and SOI separately or jointly.

  9. Could we please clarify once and for all whether models are useful or useless. Or are they only one or the other depending on whether we like what they say?

  10. According to the laws of forecasting, estalibshed trends or relationships should be projected outwards over the use of complex models. Here we have a simple hypothesis that can make a correct prediction based on empirical data. Based the principles of science, this result is more robust than the model projections and force fitting of the IPCC. Simple. End of argument.

    But here comes the IPCC circular reasoning:

    “The models account for natural variation and without the effect of added co2 the earth would actually be cooling”

    Of course, its hard to inclue unknown unknowns! The emprical relationships of course account for these. IPCC models lose!

  11. I think this is a beautiful piece of work. If you know the approximate amplitude of the effects of these major oscillations and you know the frequency and phase of each of them then you can establish a baseline waveform instead of assuming the natural temperature should be flatline or trendless.

  12. James Sexton says:
    June 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    “I don’t understand why there would be a delay in response time.”

    I would expect the answer has to do with thermal mass.

    Ted says:
    June 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    “However, I think the weakness in this post is the idea that decadal oscillations in climate properties are potentially drivers of climate warming over time.”

    Are you considering constructive and destructive interference effects?

    Derek B says:
    June 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    “It would make more sense to adjust it to give the best match (least squares) for the whole training period. “

    It would make even more sense to weight the fit by the inverse variance in the temperature values and in the climate indices. If the earlier values are, perhaps, less reliable than later values, you might end up with the same result.

    Dr. Spencer: very impressive. It appears the data are rather undersampled. Is it possible to repeat the exercise on a finer grid?

  13. A very simple and thought provoking analysis.

    I would be interested to see the time series of the PDO, AMO and SOI to get some sense of how they changed in the post 1960 period to drive the temperature changes to resemble the changes we have seen over the past 50 years.

    If the PDO, AMO and SOI are naturally occurring cycles with predictable sizes and frequency, then this model should be able to predict future temperature changes. If not then they can only explain but not predict.

  14. Good article but I would like some clarification on a few matters:

    1. Why use just the northern hemisphere? When analyzing global phenomena like PDO, AMO and SOI it seems odd to just pick one region (albeit large) for effect. Could we please have a similar analysis for global effect?

    2. The training period doesn’t seem to fit very well before 1920. Temperature and/or sea anomaly data for that time may not be perfect but what is your explanation for the less-than-perfect fit?

    While I have a problem with trying to address all of climate change into less than 50 moving parts by either side of the “debate”, I do think understanding ocean oscillations and their effects on the heat budget is one of the most important if not the most important matter to understand.

    Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work!

  15. But, but but… weren’t natural factors causing the earth to cool and hide all the nasty AGW warming! We should have warmed by 2deg C according the IPCC sensitivity estimates! Clearly the natural world could not have contributed to the warming, the climate models said so!

    here is one of my favourite post from climate sceptic about this “little” issue.

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/02/the-plug.html

  16. Well, this is certainly interesting. I’m not yet sure what it tells us, other than that there is a coupling between temperature and these global heat transfer cycles. With a coupled oscillator like this, I am not sure it is possible to determine cause and effect – or even to isolate these natural variables from CO2 or any other forcing. Maybe it adds credibility to the idea that small cyclic solar variations can subtly affect the earth based oscillations.

    Certainly this ought to be something which can be used as a constraint in the modeling domain, although I don’t think the models work with the right coordinates to make that practical today.

    It might be possible to investigate what the worst-case underlying cycles would do to temperature, and say that providing this regime holds true, with the amplitude and period of the cycles constrained to the 95% confidence interval of our current observations, we can envisage a scenario where temperature reaches a certain level.

    How close does the past 30 years come to the worst-case rate of change?

  17. Vukcevic, the correlation in the magnetic field intensity and arctic temp anomaly is way too good to be a coincidence. The “poor fits” in ocean oscillation effects for 1900-1920 (and beyond) in this report combined with the magnetic “poor fit” of 1900-1920 would actually cancel each other to cause the measured temps pretty well… Can you see what I mean?

    Hmm I think there is a good reason to look at both at the same time and find the factors of effect. Solar Flux would be necessary to look into combined to magnetic variations.

  18. @Derek B
    “That would lower the blue curve somewhat, leaving a substantial unexplained gap from 1975 onwards. Indeed, the gap appears to have grown by 0.5 deg C since the period 1900-1920.”
    Could the explanation possibly have something to do with dodgy homogenisation of readings, removal of remote measurement sites and UHI?

  19. “Mark says:
    June 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm
    Could we please clarify once and for all whether models are useful or useless. Or are they only one or the other depending on whether we like what they say?”

    Interesting point Mark but it’s not a case of either one or the other. A model like the one presented is doing the job they are meant to do, illicit discussion and make us think. Happy for climate models to do that. What I believe most sceptics object to is models becoming the science and policy decisions based on them. You even hear young scientists saying ‘the data from the model’.

    cheers David

  20. The great thing about climate is that with only 15 decades to match, it is pretty easy to find a few variables which if added together using lax rules and “climate multipliers” various time delays and a lot of imagination, you will eventually get something that looks remarkably like the climate signal.

    The reason is simple. The climate signal is simple 1/f^n noise, which is itself just the sum of many signals with a predominance of long term noise. So, is it really surprising that if you add a lot of noise together it looks like noise?

    In truth, the global warming signal is like the psychological ink blots – you can see almost anything you like in them, and what someone sees tells you far more about the way someone thinks than what they are looking at.

  21. Dr Spencer!

    Concerning another high correlation.When we look at the UHI effects im checking the correlation with the extremely pedagogic grapfs presented by Hans Roslin concerning the economic development of the world. Your correlation between temp change and the natural climate forces is also in very good correlation with Hans Roslins.If you add the number of individuals prospering from UHI effects it correlates perfectly with your graph and also not surprisingly with CO2 emissions.
    How to make a certain distinguist the difference beween factors forces and effects seems to be an extremely difficult task.

    How about Punchauris statement “If IPCC didnt exist who would worry about climate”.Doesnt that statement explain the hole climate issue??

  22. Rob Vermeulen: You wrote, “the model wouldn’t account for an GHG-induced increase of the frequency of El Ninos, for example.”

    There is no evidence of this in the instrument records. The warm water that fueled the increased frequency and amplitude of El Nino events since 1976 was created by the 1973/74/75/76 La Nina and the 1997/98 El Nino was fueled by the warm water created by the 1995/96 La Nina. Between 1976 and 1995, tropical Pacific OHC declined.

    Discussed in this post:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/02/la-nina-underappreciated-portion-of.html

    Also, the frequency and magnitude of ENSO events is cyclical as can be seen in a graph of NINO3.4 SST anomalies (HADISST dataset) that has been smoothed with a 121-month filter:

  23. I see the problem here. Dr Spencer is looking at all this through clear lenses, when they should be dark tinted for a more gloomier outlook. He is looking at things rationally, calmly, in a considered fashion, not at all what one should be doing to be considered a real climate scientist! :-)) Seriously though, an excellent piece from the good doctor, as usual!

  24. Rob Vermeulen,

    “For what I see, the model has been trained on the 1900-1970 period, where actually anthropogenic contributions are believed to have been already high. So, to summarize, it really looks like you’re fitting a signal that already has more than “natural” variability.”

    Although, the IPCC already concedes the early 20th century warming is mostly natural, you make a valid point. CO2 forcing could possibly be acting through the PDO, AMO and SOI, putting them in warm phases simultaneously and more frequently. However, if these three phenomena have this explanatory power, then what are we to make of climate model attributions and projections when those models don’t reproduce the multidecadal climate modes? The fallback position here, if this result is robust, like the fallback positions of Spencer’s other work and Lindzen’s work is that these are diagnostics that the models fail. With the models being the main “evidence” for high climate sensitivities and a net positive feedback to CO2 forcing, they do not need yet another correlated diagnostic failure. The failures to reproduce the increase in precipitation (Wentz) and the surface albedo feedbacks (Roesch) were quite enough.

  25. As there seem to be two Alexanders replying, I have added K to Alexander as my identifier.
    An excellent post. Took me a while to understand some of it – I struggle with acronyms and have to keep referencing them to remind myself of what they signify – but the climate alarmist agenda seems more and more to be based on a hunger to control and to profit rather than open and falsifiable science. I continue to maintain that warmth is good, extreme cold is anything but.

  26. Since one might expect AGW to manifest itself by enhancing natural warm modes of climate variability, this analysis proves nothing.

    Further, it is difficult to envisage a climate system that is very sensitive to internal forcing, but insensitive to external forcings.

  27. I have been evaluating similar correlations for some time. What I have found is:

    1. You will get the same result as presented by Dr. Spencer simply by doing a regression between the Hadcrut data and and the exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) of the SOI. The EWMA requires a characteristic time of at least 10 years (i.e. the weighting of the most recent point, for monthly data, is 1/120).

    2. There is also a similar correlation between the AMO and the SOI (using the same EWMA). Thus the AMO and SOI are not independent variables. The AMO is a lagged response to the SOI.

    That global temperatures are correlated to a lagged response to the SOI clearly shows that the SOI is the forcing variable. In other words, atmospheric temperature is driven by sea surface temperatures.

    Knowing that global atmospheric temperatures are a lagged response to sea surface temperatures, characterized by the SOI, and that the SOI has moderated over the past decade, indicates that global warming will moderate as well.

    I have also tried to identify drivers for the SOI, but none are readily apparent. And while the SOI appears to cycle between warmer and colder trends lasting several decades, there does not appear to be a clear long term direction to the data.

  28. James Sexton says: June 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    “…….which then cause a lagged temperature response.”

    I don’t understand why there would be a delay in response time. Don’t clouds respond as soon as they are formed?

    Can’t speak for Dr Spencer but my understanding is that most of this would be measured in Ocean terms where the time lags are longer (and heat capacity greater) than those for land. The lag could be years for a reduction in OHC near the equator to reach the poles.

    Mark says:
    June 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Could we please clarify once and for all whether models are useful or useless. Or are they only one or the other depending on whether we like what they say?

    Not sure it is as simple as that. Models are useful for all kinds of reasons. The problem many here have with models, especially climate models, is the view of some that it is reality that needs refining not a particular model.

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  30. Mark says:
    June 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    What this model shows is that it is useful for this purpose, ie demonstrating the origin(s) of warming (some of). There is no model that can predict the climate. To predict climate it would have to predict every aspect of climate (PDO, AMO, etc) and that is absolutely impossible and anyone who claims differently is either a liar or a fool.

    Climate models are not “models” in the scientific sense of the word. Atomic physics is founded on models, it has to be because we can’t see the atoms, but these models are subjected to detailed and persistent scrutiny. They are tested to their “limits” and when they fail, their failures are analysed and the model adjusted ‘mathematically’ and retested again and again. Physical models begin with a mathematical definition, are VV&T’ed, adjusted and VV&T’ed again until they agree PRECISELY with the known limits of reality. No climate model exists, to my knowledge, that has been through this exercise and therefore no climate model, in my opinion, has any useful predictive value.

  31. Carlo says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Is this so that your mediocre climate school can adjust it’s message to convince more of us that AGW is a valid science? or are you genuinely trying to engage in debate?

  32. M77 says: June 8, 2010 at 12:45 am
    Vukcevic, the correlation in the magnetic field intensity and arctic temp anomaly is way too good to be a coincidence.

    I think there is a ‘somewhat remote’ possibility of a direct link between the geo-magnetic field and the AMO, with the GMF as driver with a degree of bidirectional feedback (work in progress).
    PDO is more problematic, but there are tentative links there two, as I have shown here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC20.htm

    However, it is often pointed out: correlation is not causation. Is it coincidence? Possible, but is it probable ?
    My motto: ‘nature is adverse to a coincidence, it is ruled by a cause and the consequence’

  33. Dr. Spencer, I’m very appreciative of your work and contribution to this blog. But I continue to look for and have not found a survey of climate researchers that indicates what percentage believe the majority of warming during the last 50 years was due to anthropogenic pollution versus natural causes. Due you have such a reference? Or do you have some other objective method of determining the percentages? Otherwise, your opening statement “a minority of climate researchers” would show unsubstantiated bias.

  34. Dr Spencer.

    An interesting article.
    I feel that in order to see distinct-although irregular-climate cycles it is useful to go as far back as possible and to home in on individual data sets that can be qualified, as opposed to relying on a single global temperature which is a composite record of very dubious provenance.

    Here is my web site. It is called the Little Ice Age thermometers for a reason-it collects dozens of actual instrumental records from around the world, many of which were recording temperatures during much of the Little Ice Age.

    http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

    The oldest data set is from Central England which dates back to 1659. It clearly shows a very modest warming throughout its existence with the most notable upward slope being around 1700.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2_1.htm

    The prime reasons for this modest increase in temperatures over the last 350 years can be seen in the next link. Clearly winters have become less cold through the last few centuries, hardly surprising as the LIA loosened its grip. So it would be more accurate to say that the UK has become less cold-due to warmer winters which have the greatest variance of any season-rather than become notably warmer overall.

    http://www.climate4you.com/CentralEnglandTemperatureSince1659.htm

    This sort of pattern of gentle warming for hundreds of years can be seen in my web site records, although the oldest ones are usefully collected here in Nicks’ old datasets.

    Clearly the instrumental data available bears no relationship whatsoever to Michael Mann’s hockey stick which, instead of relying on actual instrumental records (and extremely good observation) believed that trees made better thermometers than thermometers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

    If we extend the various graphs back through the ages we would be able to see the notable periods of warmth and cold that we can readily trace back at least 5000 years and we should view the unremarkable modern era in that context. I would assume that our period of natural warming will come to a halt at some point. Whether we are at that stage yet or not it is difficult to say. Certainly some parts of the world have shown little or no warming over the last few decades and some appear to be cooling. These are overwhelmed in the global records by a preponderance of warming stations (many in urban areas)

    So it is easy to see that the climate changes over the years, but it would be very interesting if Dr Spencer could use his program to run the information from these old datasets and see what it tells us.

    Tonyb

  35. Dr. Spencer.

    OK … so now we just need a mechanism for predicting the PDO, AMO, and SOI. I don’t doubt that these cycles affect the earth’s temperature, but the model you’ve come up with is just as useless as the GCMs that the Alarmists use, unless it can be made to have some sort of skill with regards to predicting future climate.

    So the question stands, are you working on ways to predict these cycles in terms of directions and magnitude of change? Also … “publish”!!!

  36. Dr. Spencer,
    Climate has yet to include mechanical factors such as rotational energies on an orb (which creates different areas of atmospheric climate), pressure, atmospheric friction, magnetics and centrifigal forces. I would include gravity but it is showing to be an electro-magnetic event.
    Interestingly enough, most Ice Ages occur at the highest peak of gases produced which effects atmospheric interaction with the planets eco-system to lower gases by killing off plant and animal life that produce it.
    So far scholars are showing that if “if it don’t include mathematics, it ain’t science”mentality.

  37. I guess the key question in research now is: do scientists understand the SOI/PDO/AMO sufficiently to be able to predict their future oscillations?

    Because if your conclusions are right, then temperature predictions depend on that.

    And, I suspect, that SOI predictions may depend on solar parameters, the solar wind and certain functions of the atmosphere.

    Not an easy set of predictions to be sure…….

  38. Again I want to emphasize that my use of the temperature change rate, rather than temperature, as the predicted variable is based upon the expectation that these natural modes of climate variability represent forcing mechanisms — I believe through changes in cloud cover — which then cause a lagged temperature response.This is what Anthony and I are showing here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/figure6.png?w=510&h=300

    I.e., the cycles are cycles of “temperature change rate.” When I get around to it, I plan to do a little simulation along the lines of what Roy posted up a few days ago on his blog about how random cloud changes can produce “excursions” in the “temperature change rate” comparable to what we see in the historical record. My idea is to take a simple sinusoidal model of a beat wave composed of 9 and 20 year cycles (the two main frequencies in the instrumental record of global temperature) and subject them to disturbances with a random variable having a standard deviation comparable to the standard deviation of monthly changes in the rate of change in global temperature.

    As I said in my comments on Roy’s blog, I think the rate of change in temperature is composed of a “persistent” force from natural cycles of decadal and bidecadal (and possibly longer) length, and an “anti-persistent” tendency from random shocks to the system. That itself is not particularly profound. What is profound is showing — if it proves to be the case — that natural cycles with very modest parameters (the cycles shown in the link have amplitudes that could be explained by known variation in TSI), when subjected to random shocks of an order demonstrated in nature, can produce centennial (or longer) changes in global temperature on the order actually observed. I.e., it could be explained “naturally.” This is Roy’s insight, and I’m just thinking it through in terms and with reference to data I’m more familiar with.

  39. Thx. Dr. Spencer. My questions would be: 1) how do we know there is no relationship btw GHG conc and those indicies (PDO, AMO, SOI)? 2) what are the outcomes of other obvious tests on the robustness of the approach (southern hemi? global? ) . Also, I enjoy your posts but it seems that your rarely ever come back to answer questions…additional discussion of the more critical questions would be greatly appreciated and would go a long way toward increasing credibility.

  40. Scott Sabol, FOX 8 Meteorologist says:
    June 8, 2010 at 4:09 am
    This past weekend marked the first time northern Ohio had an EF4 tornado since the mid 1980s. Here is a recap of the tornado outbreak across northern Ohio this past weekend claiming 5 lives.

    http://sabolscience.blogspot.com

    Are you making the point the EF4 tornadoes in Ohio should have been increasing in frequency during the last 25 years according to CAGW propoganda while in actuality they remain quite rare?

    Sent from the southern end of tornado alley where we haven’t had an EF5 since 1997.

  41. “the model wouldn’t account for an GHG-induced increase of the frequency of El Ninos, for example.”

    This is verifiable, that GHG’s increase the frequency of El Ninos?

  42. Smokey says:
    June 8, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Some nice pics of the shuttle & ISS crossing our natural warming oven:

    Amazing. Also the pic at the top of this thread is remarkable, considering the subject matter of the post. Are we to take away the idea that the oceanic cycles are controlled by the sun and moon??

    ;-)

  43. Re David Holliday

    IPCC claims most of the post 1970 warming is man-made (they mistaken it with warm PDO/AMO cycle, while both oscillations were known well before IPCC 2007 report, but never mind).
    German IPCC-friendly climatologist Mojib Latif recently acknowledged the PDO influence ans stated, that 15 to 50?% of recent warming is attributable to PDO.
    Me says that when we remove UHI or poor tropics record from HadCRUT, there is no warming remaining, attributable to CO2.

  44. The big problem with any model is, few if any scientists know which are the leading factors and which are the lagging factors. Most skeptics believe (or can at least bring up) the fact (as I’ve seen it presented) that co2 lags temp by 800’ish years. This isn’t something a short term model can take in to consideration.
    Besides, the earth needs us like a dog needs a flea.

  45. Deanster

    the model you’ve come up with is just as useless as the GCMs that the Alarmists use, unless it can be made to have some sort of skill with regards to predicting future climate.

    Are you not “calling the kettle black“?
    Lets have some civility here. Try some positive criticism rather than ad hominem attacks.

    Spencer’s key insight is showing that natural causes with three quantitative measures (PDO, AMO, SOI) can accurately model future temperatures given future measures of those parameters – independently of CO2 concentrations. Spencer’s model has precisely shown “skill with regards to predicting future climate.” That in itself is a sea change in modeling compared to IPCC’s “90% probability” of anthropogenic caused warming.

    Don Easterbrook has taken a similar approach and predicted sawtooth global temperatures over the next century based on 60 year PDO cycles. His method could then be applied to modeling Spencer’s three indices to give future projections. Spencer’s derivative model gives a major physical cause to temperature change, not just correlation. His tuning over the first data range to predict over the second range is sound methodology.

    Lucia at the Blackboard is quantifying global temperature distributions and their statistical agreement/departure from the IPCC projections.
    That methodology can be applied to Easterbrook’s and Spencer’s models.

    Future work can then identify the causes of the very complex chaotic phenomena of ocean and atmospheric variations. Lack of that understanding does not negate Spencer’s discoveries of causation by natural fluid phenomena.

    So what constructive comments or competitive models can you provide?

  46. I’ve done a lot of these kind of correlations and have all this data. I think there might be an issue with how the methodology was implemented.

    For example, in 2009, the SOI Index was -0.12 (CPC index), the Nino 3.4 Index was 0.471, the AMO index was 0.073, the PDO Index was -0.613. The combination of those indices or an accumulation cannot explain NH Land temperatures at +0.805C in 2009.

    They have all cycled upward since 1975 and can explain part of the change since that time but they wouldn’t be able to explain the 1.0C or so of increase.

  47. If we are beginning a Dalton or Maunder like minimum we should not worry about any past model made global warming, but how to handle the next world and not modelled deep cooling.

  48. I am happy to have attended the same high school (SAHS) and university (LSSU) though not at the same time as Dr. Spencer.

  49. I’d like to see the graphics with uncertainty bars so as to understand a bit more on how close the CRU and the project lay against each other. Statistical data on the model would be nice whenever the results are offered. I’d also like to see the model training period end in 1940 so as to avoid any argument that it reflects anthropomorphic forcings associated with CO2 increases.

  50. Nice photo but aren’t the apparent diameters of the Moon and Sun approximately equal when viewed from the Earth?

  51. During the so-called “training period”, the model performs very poorly, reproducing neither the interannual variability or the overall pattern of temperature change seen in the observations. The real world saw the northern hemisphere temperature anomaly vary from as low as -0.7°C to as high as about 0.3°C. The model varies only from -0.2°C to +0.2°C. In addition, the model anomalies are lower in 1920-1935 than in 1900-1920. This is the opposite of what happened in the observations.

    Given that the model performs so badly during its so-called “training period”, I see no value in any extrapolation to different periods of time.

  52. Thanks, Roy Spencer, for this enlightening article. I have no doubts about the natural origin of climate change and it is the main argument that I managed in my conference on Climate Change and Biodiversity the last June 2nd. Among the pertinent scientific presentations on the physics of climate, I demonstrated how climate changes have favored the expansion of biodiversity, far from damaging or contracting it.

  53. I think before we can even contemplate any prediction of the future we must have a very solid understanding of the past, clearly the contribution of the satellites has been vital to expanding our knowledge and allowed us to measure many parameters which we had no means of even a rough estimate prior to 1979.
    With regard to the top 700 meters of ocean the Argo float buoys were not fully deployed until 2004 thus our understanding of the ocean currents is still in its infancy. The effect of the extremely complex and ever changing gravitation forces within our solar system have been credited with effecting the ocean currents I look forward to more research being done in this area.
    Dr. Spencer has once again given us an excellent evaluation and novel approach based on sea surface data and I too was hoping there would be some predictions but then realized this would be premature. Nowhere near as premature as the predictions issued by the IPCC in the 80’s but then the IPCC is a political body and UAH one of the finest scientific establishments in the world and political bodies are famous for delivering wild unsubstantiated propaganda to back up their hidden agendas.

  54. @David Halliday

    In both cases – anti or pro – the proportion of believers to skeptics is irrelevant.

    Science is not a matter of consensus, which is the realm of politics. Science is the realm of what is logically connected to what is already known, what is testable and thereby is falsifiable.

    The *beliefs* of human beings have rarely, if ever, been included in these latter categories. Hence, science has a long history of the lone maverick being right (or at least less wrong) and the majority being wrong.

    However, you were right to question Mr Spenser’s resort to that particular fallacy.

  55. tallbloke says:
    June 8, 2010 at 7:02 am

    “Are we to take away the idea that the oceanic cycles are controlled by the sun and moon?? ”

    Spencer says he is avoiding that by purpose.
    Then you avoid the discussions you would otherwise would get on that matter. Why fog the discussion with that issue?

    When more and more people realise that it behave like a closed loop, you can, as a different matter, discuss the external forces, if any.

    Like Svensmarks theory on cloud formations. Or whatever mechanisms that is behind it. I think Shavivs curves on correlations between cosmic rays and temperature over 500 million years at least should be of some interest. Yes, surely correlation is not neccessarily causation, that is true. But it gives a reason for investigation.

    Look at fig.2;

    http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/Ice-ages/GSAToday.pdf

  56. Steven H says:
    June 8, 2010 at 8:36 am
    Nice photo but aren’t the apparent diameters of the Moon and Sun approximately equal when viewed from the Earth?

    Indeed, if the observer stands on the surface of the Earth. However, if the observer is out of the Earth, i.e. in the space, the virtual scene is of a Moon which is bigger than the Sun. This virtual scenery was beautifully expressed by the artiste on his canvas. :)

  57. Deanster says:
    June 8, 2010 at 4:27 am

    “So the question stands, are you working on ways to predict these cycles in terms of directions and magnitude of change? Also … “publish”!!!”

    Deanster, if you read Specers book “The great climate blunder” you will get the full picture. You would then also know that Spencers paper is coming very soon.

    There is no need to predict anything any further that a few years, since the sensitivity is so small, is there? All you need to know is whether you need to invest in winther-equipment or not for the next few years. ( Hint: Yes, you do )

    And the mechanism that leads to an Ice Age, why predict that?
    Its like predicting your own expiry-date.

    Do you really want to know?

    So, back to combat malaria!

  58. Ted says June 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm:

    …I think the weakness in this post is the idea that decadal oscillations in climate properties are potentially drivers of climate warming over time. I believe it is more likely that something else is driving both the global temperature averages, as well as the PDO, AMO, and SOI changes over that same time period. AGW proponents say the driver is CO2; I think the main driver is the sun: i.e., changes in the type and angle of energy that reaches the Earth.

    Ted, these are not necessarily opposing arguments. The PDO, AMO and SOI are phenomena in themselves, driven essentially by the sun. They are only patterns of variability, not causes in and of themselves. They are intermediates in the whole process, where they APPEAR to cause weather/climate, but not initial causes themselves. They can’t and don’t exist except within the overall heating pattern that begins with the Sun.

  59. Dr. Spencer,

    Various web sites define these indexes as:

    The PDO Index is calculated by spatially averaging the monthly sea surface temperature (SST) of the Pacific Ocean north of 20°N.

    The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin.

    [Note that air pressure is dependent upon, and therefore a proxy for, temperature.]

    The AMO signal is usually defined from the patterns of SST variability in the North Atlantic once any linear trend has been removed.

    So what you’ve done is to correlate, um, temperature to temperature. And you found a close correlation! Well done!

    Now kindly use this to predict future temperatures. Please extend your graph and your model to predict temperatures through the year 2060. Oh, wait, we have to wait until 2060 to do that, so that you have the temperature readings with which to predict the temperature readings.

    Also, kindly explain the mechanism (other than hand waving, magic, and climate gremlins) that is actually causing the warming. You’ve described it. You’ve quantified it. You’ve “predicted” it based on a correlation to three temperature based indexes. But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?

  60. Mark says:
    June 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Could we please clarify once and for all whether models are useful or useless. Or are they only one or the other depending on whether we like what they say?
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Models are a tool and like any other tool they can be misused. Models however are NOT scientific facts and Dr. Spencer is not calling this “model” a fact.

  61. It’s painfully obvious that this model is completely useless and wrong because:

    1. It does not use the latest supercomputer technology.
    2. It does not employ a mutated version of Principle Component Analysis.
    3. It does not invert any of the input data series.

    QED

  62. The temperature differential of about 0.3*C is about what various calculation predict for the influence of increased pCO2 ….

  63. ***********
    Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am
    Dr. Spencer,

    Also, kindly explain the mechanism (other than hand waving, magic, and climate gremlins) that is actually causing the warming. You’ve described it. You’ve quantified it. You’ve “predicted” it based on a correlation to three temperature based indexes. But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?
    **************
    Can anyone explain why space is warped by gravity? Einstein’s equations only describe the shape of space in a gravitatinal field, not why it does it. It explains how the G.F. modifies time, but not why. Why is almost never addressed in science.

  64. Gail Combs,

    Models however are NOT scientific facts and Dr. Spencer is not calling this “model” a fact.

    And whom, anywhere, any when, has ever said that models, or any specific model, is a fact? You made that up.

    You either believe it is appropriate to use models in science, or you believe it is inappropriate. So don’t dodge the question. Which is it?

  65. tonyb says: June 8, 2010 at 4:11 am
    Clearly winters have become less cold through the last few centuries, hardly surprising as the LIA loosened its grip.

    Hi Tony
    I had a close look at the CETs summer-winter relationship and found something odd with records pre and post 1845. As an exercise I produced a short analysis.
    Perhaps you could take a look, when you have some time to spare, and comment (if you whish by email).

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GWDa.htm

  66. My motto: ‘nature is adverse to a coincidence, it is ruled by a cause and the consequence’

    Since you are going public with that phrase, here’s a helpful tip: change “adverse” to “averse.”

  67. Sphaerica says:

    Also, kindly explain the mechanism (other than hand waving, magic, and climate gremlins) that is actually causing the warming. You’ve described it. You’ve quantified it. You’ve “predicted” it based on a correlation to three temperature based indexes. But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?

    This assumption is where the hotheads went wrong, way back when — they didn’t think of climate as fundamentally wobbly (variable from internal generated forcings), but as stable until forced. The climate record, pace the hockey stick, shows natural, unforced variability is the rule. Here are a few of a score of comments I’ve seen here on this topic:

    Richard Patton (23:40:56) :

    jt (21:54:39) : said:

    “People keep making the point that Climate is Chaotic as if that meant Climate is unpredictable on any scale. However, there are kinds of chaotic systems which operate around “attractors” so that they repeat their configurations in quasi-periodic fashion. I would be interested in comments from mathematically knowledgeable persons about whether such kinds of chaos have been found, or are likely to be found, in the systems which generate climate, and, if so, what kinds of quasi-periodicity have been found or are expected.”

    Another way to look at this is that climate is made up of a myriad of self-similar processes. Self-similar processes exhibit Hurst-Kolmogorov (HK) pragmaticity (aka long term persistence (LTP)) and thus have varying means. That is, the average will wander around quite a bit – rather chaotically in fact. The best resource I have found on this is Demetris Koutsoyiannis. Here is one interesting presentation he did on this:

    http://www.itia.ntua.gr/getfile/849/2/documents/2008EGU_HurstClimatePr.pdf

    His general work can be found here: http://www.itia.ntua.gr/dk/
    One of his papers was discussed at climate audit here: http://climateaudit.org/2008/07/29/koutsoyiannis-et-al-2008-on-the-credibility-of-climate-predictions/
    ————

    phlogiston says:
    June 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    As a forced oscillatory system, what makes climate formidably complex is the large number of periodic forcings of different magnitude and nature. Is climate simply passive to all these forcings? In that case, unweaving and analysing the forcing components would be complex enough. But what if the system is a “reactive medium” such that periodic forcing results in nonlinear pattern formation, i.e. new emergent and intrinsic oscillations with periodicities completely different from (although still ultimately caused by) the external periodic forcings? i.e. if it behaved like a reaction-diffusion system of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky or Brusselator type? In such a case, you might have a reasonable chance of modeling it if there was just one (or maybe 2) periodic forcing frequencies. But dozens of different periodic forcings? The resultant complexity could be described – adapting a Churchill quote, as “dynamic chaos inside a bifurcating cascade wrapped up in a non-equilibrium pattern landscape”. Or alternatively .. a “dog’s breakfast”.

    Phlogiston also said:

    The nemesis of inductive reasoning is the prevalence in the real world of chaotic nonlinear and nonequilibrium pattern due to complexity and the universality of feedbacks. In the 22nd century it will be universally taught and understood that only a small fraction of natural phenomena can be meaningfully studied by linear inductive type reasoning, where one or at most two factors are dominant. Astronomical objects and gravitationally controlled movement is one such example. Mathematics is of course an abstract refuge where one can indulge in gratuitous inductivism without any rude interruption from the real world.

    He preceded that by:

    Deductive reasoning means keeping the lines between experimental observation and deduction as short and economical as possible. Deductive propositions are straightforwardly falsifiable. Inductive reasoning, which came close to destroying the edifice of scientific understanding in the early-mid 21st century, by contrast operates by adding assumption to assumption in a linear manner, constructing a complex edifice of interlinked hypotheses and assumptions. While parts of the edifice are embellished with highly complex experimental and theoretical detail and are thus easy to defend by individuals deeply conversant in the particular specific topic, the validity of the body of reasoning actually depends on the correctness of a very large number of interlinked hypotheses or assertions, and is highly unstable to any weak link in what is more a cobweb than a chain.

    For example, deductive reasoning would ask the question – if CO2 causes runaway and dangerous warming, then what evidence do we see of this in the palaeoclimatic record of the Ordovician era where CO2 levels in the atmosphere were 8-20 times higher than today. Receiving the answer that no warming followed, and that instead a severe global ice age ended the era, the deductive conclusion would be that the CO2 warming hypothesis was wrong – that CO2 is not dominant in global temperatures.

    But the inductive response to this is quite different. It is to totally ignore the Ordovician history. And to ignore with a determination close to fanaticism any record of climate variation before the 19 and 20th century. Instead to create a detailed narrative based on some physics of the properties of CO2 and applying the analogy of a greenhouse, with the assumption that the climate system is simple enough to be characterised by simple linear algebraic expressions ignoring the possibility of chaos and nonlinearity.

    In the same way that the internet is resistant to disruption by its interconnectedness, falsification of inductive hypotheses is extremely difficult and frustrating because as any weak points are found, the web-like edifice can adapt itself to avoid refutation and say “the overall theory never really depended on that individual part”.

    Inductive theories can shield themselves behind sheer complexity and volume of technical information. The assumption is made that every part of the colossal edifice needs to be disproved in order for the overall theory to be challenged.

  68. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

    “So what you’ve done is to correlate, um, temperature to temperature. And you found a close correlation! Well done!”

    Should read:

    “So what you’ve done is to correlate, um, natural temperature cycles to current temperatures. And you found a close correlation! Well done!”

    What he has shown is that the phasing of these natural cycles is such that they constructively interfere in recent times to produce at least a substantial portion of our current warming cycle. What we see in our limited field of view as a secular trend is, in fact, merely an isolated segment of a complex oscillation.

  69. @feet2thefire
    ‘The PDO, AMO and SOI are phenomena in themselves, driven essentially by the sun.’

    Of course phenomenon, but I’d disagree driven essentially by the sun. I have come to understand that the oceans are driven by earth revolving around its own center in a yearly wobbly manner, the currents are created by the flat plateaus sticking up above em and endless mountain ridges below. And of course not to forget about the ever present man in the moon on his daily travels around and around always dragging the water mass’ with him. So then that would essentially be what creates all them oscillations. The Sun just heats the oceans around the equator which just adds to the chaos just like the cold desalinated but melting sea ice at the arctic adds to the chaos, but not essentially driving any ocean.

    How much circulation would there really be if earth was stationary rock solid with no moon?

  70. The trolls on parade today are demonstrating clearly why they will never understand climate:

    1) They dont understand anything about dynamic chaos and spontaneous nonequilibrium pattern,

    2) thus they are baffled at thought of internally generated oscillations;

    3) They never did differential calculus at school so they dont understand the difference between absolute and relative values, and the idea of differential quantities;

    4) They believe that pressure is a proxy for temperature

    5) They believe the AGW establishment fabrication of climate history with all temperature variation pre-1950 air-brushed out, a MWP successfully “lost”,

    6) They have no curiosity about the real world climate, believing only computer models built to force a falsified climate record into a predetermined AGW outcome.

    Reasonable extrapolation of Dr Spencers model forward based on the PDO, AMO and SOI trends probably predicts a temperature downturn. A successful forward (as opposed to backward) climate prediction will also be something beyond their experience.

  71. Sphaerica says:

    How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?

    A decrease in cloud cover would do it — and that could be caused by all sorts of feedbacks and whatnot in a chaotic system (see above). Spencer’s book stresses the impact of natural variation in cloud-cover changes.

  72. richard telford says:
    June 8, 2010 at 2:39 am

    “Since one might expect AGW to manifest itself by enhancing natural warm modes of climate variability, this analysis proves nothing.”

    ___________

    I would tend to agree, though I can appreciate the good Dr.’s thoroughness of approach. We simply don’t know how AGW might be affecting and enhancing these natural cycles ocean heat equalization. If indeed, the bulk of the heat from AGW has gone into the ocean as the models indicate it has, then you’d expect some acceleration in the cycles. Dr. Spencer’s whole point seems to be about the rate of change of temperatures, and as discussed many times, the big event, or the big “shift” in that rate of change began during the “climate shift” of 76-77, of which much has been written, and not much resolved. We know the shift occurred, and we know ocean heat content had been rising prior, and pretty much ever since. The cause? Natural? AGW? A little of both?

  73. Bart says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:20 am
    What he has shown is that the phasing of these natural cycles is such that they constructively interfere in recent times to produce at least a substantial portion of our current warming cycle. What we see in our limited field of view as a secular trend is, in fact, merely an isolated segment of a complex oscillation.

    I am shocked.

  74. Changes in cloud cover do not offer an explanation for a cooling stratosphere. Stratospheric cooling has been cited as a “fingerprint” of anthropogenic greenhouse warming and as a phenomenon that does not occur from decreased cloudiness. Since this cooling is clearly observed it casts serious doubt on the viability of Dr. Spencer’s decreasing cloud cover model.

  75. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am
    Dr. Spencer,

    Various web sites define these indexes as:

    The PDO Index is calculated by spatially averaging the monthly sea surface temperature (SST) of the Pacific Ocean north of 20°N.

    The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin.

    [Note that air pressure is dependent upon, and therefore a proxy for, temperature.]

    The AMO signal is usually defined from the patterns of SST variability in the North Atlantic once any linear trend has been removed.

    So what you’ve done is to correlate, um, temperature to temperature. And you found a close correlation! Well done!

    Now kindly use this to predict future temperatures. Please extend your graph and your model to predict temperatures through the year 2060. Oh, wait, we have to wait until 2060 to do that, so that you have the temperature readings with which to predict the temperature readings.

    Also, kindly explain the mechanism (other than hand waving, magic, and climate gremlins) that is actually causing the warming. You’ve described it. You’ve quantified it. You’ve “predicted” it based on a correlation to three temperature based indexes. But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?
    ——-
    UHI effect ?

  76. This is really funny:
    dynamic chaos and spontaneous nonequilibrium pattern
    Where chaos is found, chances are the trouble is ours not nature’s.
    Non-equilibrium: I agree on that one! if self (auto)-anthropogenic.
    They never did differential calculus at school LOL!
    How do you think COMPUTERS solve such calculations?
    By using the four elemental operations! Didn’t you know it?
    That is the real problem of science now: The more complicated the more “intelligent”
    Only a fool like Pitagoras could have only used a string (the monochord) to understand all laws of nature!
    Who the fools are and who the sages . We live in interesting times, where everything should and will be revisited.

  77. “GeoFlynx says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:45 am
    Changes in cloud cover do not offer an explanation for a cooling stratosphere. Stratospheric cooling has been cited as a “fingerprint” of anthropogenic greenhouse warming and as a phenomenon that does not occur from decreased cloudiness.”

    Controlling the message… “Fingerprinting” of course is a term chosen to create the association with a human fingerprint, like “only this human can have caused this fingerprint”.

    Of course you know that it’s not that easy with temperatures. Something cools, as a GCM has predicted. Is the GCM now correct in all its projections? At the same time, the same GCM fails to correctly project temperatures in the tropical troposphere.

    To put it simply: It could be coincidence, your stratospheric cooling. The GCM’s got one thing right. Way to go. Coincidence sounds much better than “Fingerprint” in my opinion.

  78. rogerkni says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Sphaerica says:

    How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?

    A decrease in cloud cover would do it — and that could be caused by all sorts of feedbacks and whatnot in a chaotic system (see above). Spencer’s book stresses the impact of natural variation in cloud-cover changes.
    ——————————————————————————–
    And yet, the idea I got from the days after 9/11/2001 was that cloud cover has increased markedly in the jet age….

  79. Wren

    “But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?”

    To get some appreciation for “stable” climate see Easterbrook’sSHORT-TERM WARM/COOL CYCLES FROM THE GREENLAND ICE CORE
    A scientific model may be effective in calculation without any understanding of the underlying physical cause. E.g. Newton developed his laws of gravity with no understanding or effort to “explain” gravity.

    There are numerous physical causes together with chaotic fluctuations. Climate science is very new. One does not have to “explain” it fully to make major advances as Spencer is doing.

  80. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Gail Combs,

    Models however are NOT scientific facts and Dr. Spencer is not calling this “model” a fact.

    And whom, anywhere, any when, has ever said that models, or any specific model, is a fact? You made that up.

    You either believe it is appropriate to use models in science, or you believe it is inappropriate. So don’t dodge the question. Which is it?
    _________________________________________________________________________
    It is inappropriate to use models in science and use them to write “Summaries for Policymakers” It is inappropriate to use models in science and use them as the basis for a film designed to frighten children as well as adults. And it is certainly UNETHICAL to continue pushing those models down the throats of the world’s people, knowing they will devastate economics and ultimately lead to misery and death especially when you write in an e-mail:

    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t,” Dr. Trenberth

    The AGW climate models are the basis for the EU carbon trading and may soon be the bases for the Cap & Trade or EPA regulation of CO2. If those models are NOT being used as “fact” then what are they being used for??? Hype in the world’s most devastating hoax????

  81. rogerkni says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

    This assumption is where the hotheads went wrong, way back when — they didn’t think of climate as fundamentally wobbly (variable from internal generated forcings), but as stable until forced. The climate record, pace the hockey stick, shows natural, unforced variability is the rule. Here are a few of a score of comments I’ve seen here on this topic:

    I see. So because a bunch of people talk about it on WUWT, it’s true? The world is quite simply too complex for man to understand, and all professional scientists were too dumb to recognize the complexity in the system? Everyone except for magically brilliant Dr. Spencer?

  82. Wren says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:53 am

    UHI effect?

    Hmmm. And how does that explain Dr. Spencer’s presentation of the lower tropospheric satellite readings here?

  83. While I would personally disagree with Dr. Spencer as to whether the source of global warming is natural or anthropogenic, his recent thesis does acknowledge the existence of global warming as well as the general shape and condition of the “hockey stick” and the rise in global temperatures that it represents. Hopefully, this will put to rest the following:

    1. The “Hockey Stick” controversy itself.

    2. The shrinking cryosphere and decreasing Arctic ice.

    3. The debate over rising sea levels due to thermal expansion and meltwater.

    4. Changes in a warming biosphere – migration, vegetation, lizards, pine beetles etc.

  84. “DirkH says:
    June 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm
    “GeoFlynx says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:45 am
    Changes in cloud cover do not offer an explanation for a cooling stratosphere. Stratospheric cooling has been cited as a “fingerprint” of anthropogenic greenhouse warming and as a phenomenon that does not occur from decreased cloudiness.”

    Controlling the message… “Fingerprinting” of course is a term chosen to create the association with a human fingerprint, like “only this human can have caused this fingerprint”. ”

    Excuse me, i was annoyed by the word “Fingerprint”, i consider usage of such terms neurolinguistic programming or NewSpeak. Usually these terms are designed by PR agencies like futerra to control a debate.

    When i said that GCM’s could by a pure stroke of luck have guessed the cooling of the stratosphere correctly i left open the justified question about why the stratosphere could be cooling, if cloud cover is not a reasonable explanation.

    So i’ll just have a guess. CO2 is rising, that i don’t dispute, and it has a temporary warming effect, that much i acknowledge. And this will lead to a redistribution of energy and the surface temperature will warm slightly and the stratosphere will cool as guessed correctly by the GCM’s. Where i completely disagree with the GCM’s is the feedbacks. While the professionals assume large positive feedbacks i assume a net negative feedback (a negative feedback that is more negative than the standard negative feedback that is to be expected from the Stefan-Boltzmann law) in line with Ferenc Miskolczi’s theory. According to his theory, an increase in one GHG (CO2) must be compensated by a loss in another GHG (water vapor).

    This net negative feedback has to result in an impossibility of the absolute level of CO2 being causative for the temperature anomaly but a possible causation of the temperature anomaly by the first derivative of the CO2 level, as the net negative feedback gives the system a high-pass characteristic. There is a lag time involved so over short periods the high pass characteristic will not be identified correctly. The last decade with it’s lack of warming could be a harbinger of this characteristic.

    An according drop in humidity of the stratosphere has already been observed.
    (and it hadn’t been projected by a GCM because they don’t incorporate Miskolczi’s theory)

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-water-vapor-in-the-stratosphere-slowing-global-warming

  85. phlogiston says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Reasonable extrapolation of Dr Spencers model forward based on the PDO, AMO and SOI trends probably predicts a temperature downturn. A successful forward (as opposed to backward) climate prediction will also be something beyond their experience.

    You missed the point (why am I not surprised). It’s not possible for this model to predict temperatures, and any “successful forward climate prediction” as you call it is not possible with his model, because his inputs are the temperatures. His inputs are the PDO, AMO and SOI indexes, which can only be determined after they happen, and are themselves readings of sea surface temperatures.

    His model has no predictive capability whatsoever. It’s like being able to predict the Dow Jones average using 3 well correlated, selected stocks. It’s of no value, because if you can’t predict those stocks, then you can’t predict the DJ average, so what’s the point? Worse yet, the stocks are themselves part of the Dow Jones, so what you’ve done is to say that you can predict an average by using some of the components used to ultimately compute the average; Accomplishing zero, but fooling a lot of wishlets into thinking they are seeing something magical, that shows them what they truly, truly want to believe.

  86. All of you folks will agree that how a wonderful thing is having a big, big, carbon footprint, like eating, right now, a delicious and carbon polluting barbecue!

  87. Jim says:
    June 8, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Can anyone explain why space is warped by gravity? Einstein’s equations only describe the shape of space in a gravitatinal field, not why it does it. It explains how the G.F. modifies time, but not why. Why is almost never addressed in science.

    Don’t be obtuse. Obviously I didn’t mean “why” as in “why is the sky blue, Daddy?” I meant “why” as in “how?” Where did the extra energy come from? What do the oscillations actually due to raise temperatures? What is the mechanism? Science does not work by saying A correlates to B, therefore A causes B, and we can’t know anything more. Why is always addressed by science. That’s the whole point of science.

    Why do apples fall from trees? Gravity. Why do the stars move in the sky? The revolution of the Earth. Why is the Earth warming? Because of magical oscillations which are too complex and and arcane for the uninitiated to comprehend (queue dark, forbidding organ music here).

  88. 1DandyTroll says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:20 am
    @feet2thefire
    ‘The PDO, AMO and SOI are phenomena in themselves, driven essentially by the sun.’

    Of course phenomenon, but I’d disagree driven essentially by the sun. I have come to understand that the oceans are driven by earth revolving around its own center in a yearly wobbly manner, the currents are created by the flat plateaus sticking up above em and endless mountain ridges below.

    A small fraction of the solar radiation absorbed by the surface remains in the atmosphere as kinetic energy. Some 0.42 W/m^2 which are incorporated to the dynamics of the air and ocean currents.

  89. ***********
    Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm
    Jim says:
    June 8, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Can anyone explain why space is warped by gravity? Einstein’s equations only describe the shape of space in a gravitatinal field, not why it does it. It explains how the G.F. modifies time, but not why. Why is almost never addressed in science.

    Don’t be obtuse. Obviously I didn’t mean “why” as in “why is the sky blue, Daddy?” I meant “why” as in “how?” Where did the extra energy come from? What do the oscillations actually due to raise temperatures? What is the mechanism? Science does not work by saying A correlates to B, therefore A causes B, and we can’t know anything more. Why is always addressed by science. That’s the whole point of science.

    Why do apples fall from trees? Gravity. Why do the stars move in the sky? The revolution of the Earth. Why is the Earth warming? Because of magical oscillations which are too complex and and arcane for the uninitiated to comprehend (queue dark, forbidding organ music here).
    **********************
    I thought stars moved due to expansion of the Universe. Silly me.

    Seriously though, Dr. Spencer may have revealed a couple of gears in the machine here. OK, it isn’t the whole enchilada, but as they say: A fool can ask a thousand questions in the time it takes the wise man to answer only one.

  90. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    “His inputs are the PDO, AMO and SOI indexes, which can only be determined after they happen, and are themselves readings of sea surface temperatures.”

    The important thing, though, is that their phasing is consistent, from the learning period to the modern period, with a natural reinforcement of a warming trend in the latter half of the 20th century. In the learning period, he gets the response from each cycle. In the modern period, he shows that the responses interfere constructively to produce a seeming warm trend.

    All of these cycles are natural – they existed before the industrial age, and will exist into the future. When they are out of phase, they interfere destructively to create a cooling trend. When in phase, they interfere constructively to create a warming trend. And, they do so irrespective of any anthropogenic forcing. Capiche?

  91. Jim says:
    June 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Dr. Spencer may have revealed a couple of gears in the machine here

    I guess that’s my main point. I don’t think he’s added anything to our knowledge with this. It doesn’t help us to understand what’s happening, and really it doesn’t help us to understand anything. To me, this model is like saying “the big sun god is angry with us.” No one can prove it wrong, but there’s no next step.

    There’s no place to go with this knowledge. It says “there are these mystical oscillations, which science isn’t even sure really represent tangible phenomena, and these mysterious oscillations are in turn responsible for the mysterious warming, except that we’re not admitting that there’s any warming, mind you.”

    At the same time, the model has no predictive power, because its inputs are temperature measurements themselves. You can’t know the inputs you need until you know the end result… so if it doesn’t expand our knowledge or help us to understand the “how,” and it also doesn’t help to predict future climate change, then what is the value (except to convince simple people that this explains everything, and so they don’t have to think about it anymore)?

  92. RHS:

    At June 8, 2010 at 7:34 am you say:

    “Besides, the earth needs us like a dog needs a flea.”

    I agree, but the Earth needs me and most other people.

    Richard

  93. Gail Combs says:
    June 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    It is inappropriate to use models in science and use them to write “Summaries for Policymakers” It is inappropriate to use models in science and use them as the basis for a film designed to frighten children as well as adults.

    Translation: it’s inappropriate to have an opinion different from your own on the most important issue of our time.

    Try arguing with facts instead of emotions.

    And it is certainly UNETHICAL to continue pushing those models down the throats of the world’s people, knowing they will devastate economics…

    Here you are being unnecessarily and foolishly alarmist. No one, anywhere, is talking about devastating economies, and no matter how dire the circumstances, the peoples and governments of the world would never have the self control to force themselves to pursue such a course, even if it were necessary. All we are talking about is starting now, investing 1% to 3% of GDP, in pursuing renewable energy sources and improving our infrastructure.

    The only people who will suffer from this are those that stand to make lots and lots of money selling fossil fuels.

    and ultimately lead to misery and death especially when you write in an e-mail:

    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t,” Dr. Trenberth

    Evidence of your ignorance, and lack of critical thinking. If you’d read and understood enough, you’d understand that quote, and the context in which it belongs. Repeating it without understanding it is evidence of your position, and your lack of knowledge, nothing more.

    Hint: He was talking about the fact that there are not enough, proper data collection mechanisms to account for all of the possible energy sinks on the planet. The problem was not that the globe wasn’t warming as expected, but rather that we know that it is, but cannot tally every nook and cranny to be sure that we understand exactly where and how and by how much.

    The AGW climate models are the basis for the EU carbon trading and may soon be the bases for the Cap & Trade or EPA regulation of CO2. If those models are NOT being used as “fact” then what are they being used for??? Hype in the world’s most devastating hoax????

    Now you’re just having fun. “Not being used as ‘fact'”. That’s an interesting turn of phrase, a fun way to defend your original comments. “World’s most devastating hoax?” Spare me. As evidenced by what? How have you, or anyone, personally suffered in any way from the theory of AGW? And don’t say “they want to come and take all my things.” That’s nonsense.

    You are one of the true “alarmists.” “Run, everyone, run, the global warming hoaxers are coming, and they’ll take your car and your job and your children. Run!”

    So your position is basically:

    1) The theory of AGW will destroy the world’s economies
    2) Models are used in the theory of AGW
    3) Models are evil, evil things… unless used by Dr. Spencer to disprove AGW, in which case it’s about time someone used models “properly.”

  94. Bart says:
    June 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    The important thing, though, is that their phasing is consistent…

    Their phasing is not consistent.

    You are assuming that he used some oscillating variable. I don’t believe he has, and he never said that he did. He said he used the indexes themselves, and they are certainly not regular, predictable oscillations. They are oscillations, but not regular, or predictable, so Dr. Spencer must have used the actual index values… or else his model would swing wildly away as his “regular” oscillations would vary from what really happens.

    PDO
    AMO
    SOI

    All of these cycles are natural – they existed before the industrial age

    Another assumption. These values weren’t measured until the industrial age, so there is no way to prove your statement.

    I’ll say it again. All he’s done is to take three major collections of temperature data, and to correlate them to global temperatures. It’s like expecting to find apples on the ground in an apple orchard. What’s the point?

  95. Heh, oh, global one. No, the travesty is that Kevin Trenberth can’t face reality and understand his ‘heat in the pipeline’ has piped itself back into space, as he inadvertently let slip in his famous NPR interview two years ago.

    Listen up, Bud; show me the effect of CO2 in the real world. We know it has radiative properties in the laboratory, but how do they play out in the oceans and the atmospheres? You can’t show me, and that you flap your lips like you do is a travesty.
    ==============

  96. Sphaerica:

    At June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am you ask Dr. Spencer:

    “How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?”

    Before anybody can answer that question you nead to specify the planet to which you refer because it is certainly not the Earth.

    Richard

  97. Sphaerica:

    At June 8, 2010 at 10:21 am you assert:

    “You either believe it is appropriate to use models in science, or you believe it is inappropriate. So don’t dodge the question. Which is it?”

    Rubbish!
    It is appropriate and proper to use models in science. Indeed, science could not be conducted if it were unable to use models.

    But it is inappropriate and improper to misuse models in science.

    It is a misuse of a model to accept its output as being valid when the performance of the model has not been validated. Hence, it is misuse of a model to accept that its ‘projections’ of anything for several decades ahead are valid when the model has not existed for decades: this is a misuse of the model because the model cannot have any demonstrated forecasting skill for decadal periods and, therefore, is not a valid tool for the purpose.

    Dr Spender’s has constructed a model and has used it appropriately.

    Climate ‘projections’ of GCMs for the next 50 or 100 years are inappropriate and improper misuse of models. However, these ‘projections’ are not an example of the “use models in science”: they are an example of pseudoscience.

    Richard

  98. sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I am not speaking of the phases of the oscillations – I am speaking of the phasing of their responses. A system generally exhibits a phase and a gain response. The gain response tells how an input will be scaled by the system to the output. The phase response determines when the output due to the input will manifest itself. And, that determines whether the total output will exhibit constructive or destructive interference.

    What Spencer has shown is that the responses to PDO, AMO, SOI are repeatable, and that when you sum them together in the latter part of the 20th century, their phasing is such that they interfere constructively to create a temperature rise which is strikingly close to what we have, in fact, observed.

  99. Richard S Courtney says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Sphaerica:

    At June 8, 2010 at 10:21 am you assert:

    “You either believe it is appropriate to use models in science, or you believe it is inappropriate. So don’t dodge the question. Which is it?”

    If I may – models are used inappropriately when it is stated, as it is by AGW advocates, that there is no other type of model which will reproduce observed results. If you can show an independent model which does, then you have falsified that conclusion.

  100. kim says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    but how do they play out in the oceans and the atmospheres? You can’t show me, and that you flap your lips like you do is a travesty.

    Uncivilized and unnecessarily vitriolic response, however…

    The warming is quite undeniable, as evidenced by multiple temperature records (not just the ones WUWT likes to harp on… go visit Dr. Spencer’s site and tell me what you see) and Arctic ice, which is not behaving as Mr. Goddard would like you to believe… except when it melts you’ll switch your focus to some other variable, whatever you can find to pretend that nothing is happening.

  101. Richard S Courtney says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Before anybody can answer that question you nead to specify the planet to which you refer because it is certainly not the Earth.

    Look around with open eyes of a true skeptic, instead of the closed tightly shut eyes of a WUWT self-labeled skeptic.

    But it is inappropriate and improper to misuse models in science.

    It is a misuse of a model to accept its output as being valid when the performance of the model has not been validated…

    . . .

    Dr Spender’s has constructed a model and has used it appropriately.

    Translation: It’s inappropriate to use a model when you, R.S.C., personally disagree with the position or the outcome.

    Except that the models have been validated (your refusals and huffing and puffing not withstanding).

    Dr. Spencer’s model, on the other hand, says “look, if I put temperatures into a calculation, I get temperatures.”

    It’s like predicting that a toaster will make toast. There’s no point to it.

  102. Sphaerica:

    Your trolling is tiresome so I shall address here one more of your blatant propogandist errors then ignore all your other comments. I hope this contribution will demonstrate to others that your contributions are inane and are intended to deflect attention from Dr Spencer’s excellent analysis.

    At June 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm you assert:

    “No one, anywhere, is talking about devastating economies, and no matter how dire the circumstances, the peoples and governments of the world would never have the self control to force themselves to pursue such a course, even if it were necessary. All we are talking about is starting now, investing 1% to 3% of GDP, in pursuing renewable energy sources and improving our infrastructure.”

    Your assertions are untrue on every count.

    Firstly, the IPCC, Greenpeace, WWF et al. are talking about reducing greenhouse gas (notably CO2) emissions. That is the purpose of the failed Kyoto Protocol, the aborted Copenhagen accord, and the putative Cancun Agreement. That purpose is not achievable by “investing 1% to 3% of GDP, in pursuing renewable energy sources and improving our infrastructure”, and the IPCC, Greenpeace, WWF et al. do not claim it is.

    The reduction to CO2 emissions can only be achieved by reducing the use of fossil fuels.

    But the use of fossil fuels has done more to benefit human kind than anything else since the invention of agriculture.

    Most people would not exist if it were not for the use of fossil fuels because all human activity is enabled by energy supply and limited by material science.

    Energy supply enables the growing of crops, the making of tools and their use to mine for minerals, and to build, and to provide goods, and to provide services.

    Material Science limits what can be done with the energy. A steel plough share is better than a wooden one. Ability to etch silica permits the making of acceptably reliable computers. And so on.

    People die without energy and the ability to use it. They die because they lack food, or housing, or clothing to protect from the elements, or heating to survive cold, or cooling to survive heat, or medical provisions, or transport to move goods and services from where they are produced to where they are needed.

    And people who lack energy are poor so they die from pollution, too.

    For example, traffic pollution has been dramatically reduced by adoption of fossil fuels. On average each day in 1855 more than 50 tons of horse excrement was removed from only one street, Oxford Street in London. The mess, smell, insects and disease were awful everywhere. By 1900 every ceiling of every room in Britain had sticky paper hanging from it to catch the flies. Old buildings still have scrapers by their doors to remove some of the pollution from shoes before entering

    Affluence reduces pollution. Rich people can afford sewers, toilets, clean drinking water and clean air. Poor people have more important things they must spend all they have to get. So, people with wealth can afford to reduce pollution but others cannot. Pollution in North America and Europe was greater in 1900 than in 2000 despite much larger populations in 2000. And the pollution now experienced every day by billions who do not have the wealth of Americans and Europeans includes cooking in a mud hut using wood and dung as fuel when they cannot afford a chimney.

    The use of fossil fuels has provided that affluence for the developed world. The developing world needs the affluence provided by the development which is only possible at present by using fossil fuels.

    We gained our wealth and our population by means of that use.

    The energy supply increased immensely when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine. Animal power, wind power and solar power were abandoned because the laws of physics do not allow them to provide as much energy as can be easily obtained from using fossil fuels. (If wind power were sensible then oil tankers would be sailing ships).

    The greater energy supply enabled more people to live and the human population exploded. Our population has now reached about 6.6 billion and it is still rising. All estimates are that the human population will peak at about 9 billion people near the middle of this century before it declines.

    That additional more than 2 billion people in the next few decades needs additional energy supply to survive. The only methods to provide that additional energy supply at present are nuclear power and fossil fuels. And the use of nuclear power is limited because some activities are difficult to achieve by getting energy from the end of a wire.

    If you doubt this then ask a farmer what his production would be if he had to replace his tractor with a horse or a Sinclair C5.

    So, holding the use of fossil fuels at its present level would kill at least 2 billion people, mostly children. And reducing the use of fossil fuels would kill more millions, possibly billions.

    That is not an opinion. It is not a prediction. It is not a projection. It is a certain and undeniable fact. Holding the use of fossil fuels at their present levels would kill billions of people, mostly children. Reducing the use of fossil fuels would kill more millions or billions.

    Improving energy efficiency will not solve that because it has been known since the nineteenth century that improved energy efficiency increases energy use: as many subsequent studies have confirmed.

    And this reduction to fossil fuel usage is a policy intended to stop climate change. But climate has always changed everywhere and always will: this has been known since the Bronze Age when it was pointed out to Pharaoh by Joseph (the one with the Technicolour Dreamcoat).

    Joseph told Pharaoh to prepare for the bad times when in the good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the thousands of years since then.

    That tried and tested policy is sensible because people merely complain at taxes in the good times, but they will revolt if they are short of food in the bad times.

    So, you and your ilk want to replace want to move from the tried and tested climate policy that has stood the test of time since the Bronze Age, and you want to replace that with quasi-religious political madness which – if not stopped – will pale into insignificance the combined activities of Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot.

    Go away!

    Richard

  103. Sphaerica writes, in part,
    “Also, kindly explain the mechanism (other than hand waving, magic, and climate gremlins) that is actually causing the warming. You’ve described it. You’ve quantified it. You’ve “predicted” it based on a correlation to three temperature based indexes. But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?”

    To which Wren offers an answer,
    “UHI effect ?”

    But published research has looked hard and found little support for UHI as an explanation for the warming trends observed even in the surface-station parts of the NASA, NCDC or HadCRU series. To say nothing of the warming trends also noticed in, for example:
    * ocean heat content
    * wasting glaciers
    * Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheet mass loss
    * sea level rise due to all of the above
    * sea surface temperatures
    * borehole temperatures
    * troposphere warming (with stratosphere cooling)
    * Arctic sea ice reductions in volume and extent
    * permafrost thawing
    * ecosystem shifts involving plants, animals and insects

    There’s more, but that’s already a lot of warming to explain.

  104. Bart says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I am not speaking of the phases of the oscillations – I am speaking of the phasing of their responses. A system generally exhibits a phase and a gain response…

    What Spencer has shown is that the responses to PDO, AMO, SOI are repeatable, and … their phasing is such that they interfere constructively to create a temperature rise which is strikingly close to what we have, in fact, observed.

    No, what Spencer has shown is that if you watch and see that 2 + 2 = 4, then you can create a model where 2 is the first input, and 2 is the second output, and look, amazing, 4 is the result.

    As a side note, generally engineers or retired ex-engineers should not try to to apply their training to every single problem they see. “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

  105. First, if this is Cycles … Why does it mimic the sudden rise recently ?

    Previously, Spencer ascribed the “Up & Down” to the Cycles, with the last 30 years’ increase MOSTLY the cyclic Upturn. I understand that. Why the change ? An “unknown” factor (could be the Sun, in addition to Man) cannot have ANYTHING to do with it ?
    If PDOs are hotter than 100 years ago — you need a reason.
    Could Man (possibly through fishing Patterns) affect the PDO ?

    Second: Your Arctic Temps (Dr. Roy S. co-monitors the derivation of uah Satellite temps: that he apologizes for them being high shows his Honesty, ie, he does not find some excuse to keep them low, unlike some other indexes)http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    … are still running more than double ANY other year’s Arctic Ocean anomaly (anomaly is the temperature Above average)
    Summarized: December through May … +3.20, 1.60, 2.92, 2.53, 2.68, 2.63 degrees C).

    So I doubt it is time to FORGET that Man can Bolix things up, especially when there is Tax Money to be gained from causing a Panic – – thus it seems the last 34 years’ warming in the Arctic has been 74% from CAP & TRADE (1.09 of 1.48oC) , which laws “forgive” Soot from Diesels, force Industry on China — which has only coal = More BLACK SOOT on the formerly white Arctic — and the reductions in SO2.

    I know this view is unpopular — either you are For Industry & claim Man cannot Change the Weather, or You are for the Green Agenda which Claims Industry is killing us.

    I say it’s the Phony Greens that are killing us .

    Well, the PPGs add 1.1 degrees to the Global +.4 … and, the 1 degree from the strong El Nino this year (unusual as normally when the Ice gets this thin from the Cycle as in 1948-54 – – it is after 30 years of melting during the positive side of the Cycle — which this should be, and, indeed we just had 2 La Nina … 1 of them VERY strong. I heard this was presdicted to be weak, but was pumped up by underesea volcanic Activity — giving us a 1-in-10,000+ year opportunity to melt off the Ice all at once & see if the Ocean Currents stop = 300 mph winds = 6 Billion Dead (since no one is Doing Anything about it) — providing someone gives us an extra degree or so … OOPs !
    Un-thank you, Green Power !

    PS: for Sea Ice Volume history from 1948 to 2004 clearly showing the 60-year Cycle, see http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/retro.html#NAO
    [ignore the mid-1960’s Ice peak — it is from 3 volcanos]

  106. sphaerica: So you agree that even though Dr. Spencer’s model is limited, it is nevertheless correct. So why the hysterics? You also said somewhere in your generous writings here that skeptics, the ones on WUWT, don’t acknowledge warming. That isn’t the case with most skeptics that post here. No, the skeptics here by and large believe CO2 does raise the lower atmospheric temperature. The skeptics here do doubt the other mechanisms posited by the warmist scientists, however. And they in general doubt the warming will be catastrophic.

    On the topic of warmist scientists, one has to wonder why they define “climate” as a stretch of weather of 30 years when some of the ocean cycles take that long or longer and can run out of phase with each other. Shoot, you’d have to take a 100, 200, or an even longer span of years just to get a decent trend. Yet, the warmists claim not only that their models are correct, but the temperature record proves it. What’s up with that sphaerica?

    The warmist scientist do so many questionable things, it seems a waste to turn your guns towards Dr. Spencer for such a simple but useful model. Why don’t you ask hard questions of the warmists? There’s a lot of “there” there.

    Railing against Dr. Spencer won’t make warmist’s climate model’s right.

  107. In the modern cycle we’ve been cooling since about ’98 and if you clean up the data you can push that. The warming through the 80’s is a minor dip in a long drift down from about the time of Christ.

    Relative to the Holocene and looking at anecdotal data including the behaviour of Antarctica over the modern period we have been drifting into another glaciation for about 2000 years of this 500k year ice age (million years if you include period with moderated glaciations prior to Milankovitch cycle).

    All we need is a Heinrich Event to really show us where we are in the calender and time stepping that to now … I give us a couple of millenia. A blip in geological time and a moment even in the 140k experience of human beings. That’s enough time to acknowledge our senses and wake up to reality.

  108. Dr. Spencer,
    Here’s what I did. Using monthly data from 1900 to April 2009 on Hadcrut global temp (not N hemisphere, which data I do not have handy):
    1. HadCrut3 temp regressed with PDO, SOI and AMO http://i49.tinypic.com/2vcxpx4.gif
    Rsquare is 27%. The Prob>|t| values |t| are <0.05, so all are statistically significant.
    The Actual by Predicted plot falls on the red line, unlike in 1. and the Residual by Row plot falls on the horizontal line, unlike 1., indicating that adding CO2 makes a better "prediction" of Hadcrut temperature.
    The Sorted Parameter Estimates pink bars show that CO2 is the most significant factor, followed by AMO, and the Leverage Plots give a similar result.

    So:
    A: What's "wrong" with MY analysis?
    B: Why doesn't it show that CO2 is a stronger predictor of global temp than SOI, AMO and PDO?
    C: What happens to your model when you add in CO2?
    D: Tsfc means "surface temp"?
    E: What tool did you use to get that "Correlation vs Lag" plot? Interesting.

  109. Sphaerica @ 3:39

    I note you continue to flap your lips and that you still do not show us the effect of CO2 in our atmosphere and oceans. What was all that about ice? Is your next act a photo of an Ice Bear?

    Judith Curry herself calls for a new surface temperature record.
    =============

  110. The middle got clipped out of the above. The whole thing should read:
    Dr. Spencer,
    Here’s what I did, using JMP 8.0.2. Using monthly data from 1900 to April 2009 on Hadcrut global temp (not N hemisphere, which data I do not have handy):
    1. HadCrut3 temp regressed with PDO, SOI and AMO http://i49.tinypic.com/2vcxpx4.gif
    Rsquare is 27%. The Prob>|t| values are <0.05, so all are statistically significant.
    The Actual by Predicted plot is skewed from the red line, which means some significant factor is missing from the regression. The Residual by Row plot does not fall on the black horizontal line, which also shows like a significant factor is missing. The way that the residuals go up with time looks very much like much of the temperature increase is missing from the regression.
    Leverage plots show that AMO is the most significant factor.

    2. CO2 added to the Hadcrut vs. AMO, SOI, PDO regression above http://i46.tinypic.com/whk3mr.gif
    This regression is a better fit. Rsquare = 79.5%. As above, all factors are statistically significant.
    The Actual by Predicted plot falls on the red line, unlike in 1. and the Residual by Row plot falls on the horizontal line, unlike 1., indicating that adding CO2 makes the model a much better "prediction" of Hadcrut temperature. CO2 appears to predict a whopping 52% of the variation in temperature.
    The Sorted Parameter Estimates pink bars show that CO2 is the most significant factor, followed by AMO, and the Leverage Plots give a similar result.

    So:
    A: What's "wrong" with MY analysis? (Besides the fact that no statistical model proves correlation.)
    B: Why shouldn't we interpret this as showing that CO2 is a stronger predictor of global temp than SOI, AMO and PDO?
    C: What happens to your model when you add in CO2? Does it then dominate your regression?
    D: Tsfc means "surface temp"?
    E: What tool did you use to get that "Correlation vs Lag" plot and where can WE get one? Interesting!
    F: If you tell me what lags to use, I can go back and redo the whole thing with the lags.

    Hope the middle doesn't get clipped again. Saving to Word just in case

  111. Richard S Courtney: June 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm (to Sphaerica)

    …….. (remarkably cogent and coherent comments) …….,
    followed by: Go away!

    As the kids are wont to say: “Awesome, man, just awesome!” ☺ ☺

    /dr.bill

  112. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    rogerkni says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

    This assumption is where the hotheads went wrong, way back when — they didn’t think of climate as fundamentally wobbly (variable from internal generated forcings), but as stable until forced. The climate record, pace the hockey stick, shows natural, unforced variability is the rule. Here are a few of a score of comments I’ve seen here on this topic:

    I see. So because a bunch of people talk about it on WUWT, it’s true? The world [‘s climate] is quite simply too complex for man to understand, and all professional scientists were too dumb to recognize the complexity in the system?

    Yes. (After including my insertion.)

    Everyone except for magically brilliant Dr. Spencer?

    And Freeman Dyson.

  113. sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    “No, what Spencer has shown is that if you watch and see that 2 + 2 = 4, then you can create a model where 2 is the first input, and 2 is the second output, and look, amazing, 4 is the result.”

    No, that is not at all what he has shown. But, you have vanquished my hope that I could make you see.

    “As a side note, generally engineers or retired ex-engineers should not try to to apply their training to every single problem they see. “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”’

    I don’t even know what you are trying to say here. All I can surmise is that it’s a shovel of snark to divert attention when you’ve found yourself in a hole. My advice: stop digging.

  114. JBAR,

    “What’s “wrong” with MY analysis?”

    It looks like you fit all the data, and didn’t use the statistical relationship of CO2 to temperature prior to 1960, to see how good its fit would be for the last 50 years of data. If so, it is not directly comparable. I’d be particularly interested in how well it projects the rest of the mid-century cooling. We’d expect some improvement from adding CO2 overall, since its direct effects would account for perhaps 30% of the warming. But I doubt it explains the cooling or the slope of the recent warming well.

  115. Richard S Courtney says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Sphaerica:

    Your trolling is tiresome so I shall address here one more of your blatant propogandist errors then ignore all your other comments.

    Okay, first, simply disagreeing with you is not “trolling.” Use the term properly, and respect other people’s opinions.

    Second, your unbearably long monologue was so full of exaggeration and conjecture as to be useless. Little of what you said matters to anyone who understands the issues. It was pretty much just empty words.

    Fact: the real alarmists are the ones who keep claiming that mitigating CO2 emissions will destroy the world’s economies, or that there is no reason to change anything. Between CO2, peak oil, environmental disasters, and the fact that the rest of the world holds most of oil reserves, there is every reason (economic, ecological, and strategic) in the world to start to pursue renewable energy sources, and even Anthony Watts knows this (he drives and sells electric cars, doesn’t he?).

    dr.bill says:
    June 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    “Awesome, man, just awesome!”

    Grow up. You can’t live by simply telling anyone who disagrees with you to “shut up.”

  116. Bart says:
    June 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    But, you have vanquished my hope that I could make you see.

    Funny… I could say the same.

    One more time: Correlating temperature increases to temperature increases is a pointless exercise, and it’s all that Dr. Spencer has done. It’s like saying the sun comes up every day because the sun comes up every day. No matter how fancy you make it, and use oscillations and indexes and whatever, you’re not actually doing anything.

    Please revisit this thread in ten years, when temperatures have continued to climb, and all of the years from 2010 to 2019 are warmer than 2000 to 2009. Then explain to your children or grandchildren how you were part of messing up the world for them, so that they have no chance of living the lifestyle that you’ve enjoyed, because you were too selfish to think ahead and use limited resources in a reasonable fashion.

  117. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am
    Dr. Spencer,

    Various web sites define these indexes as:

    The PDO Index is calculated by spatially averaging the monthly sea surface temperature (SST) of the Pacific Ocean north of 20°N.

    The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin.

    [Note that air pressure is dependent upon, and therefore a proxy for, temperature.]

    The AMO signal is usually defined from the patterns of SST variability in the North Atlantic once any linear trend has been removed.

    So what you’ve done is to correlate, um, temperature to temperature. And you found a close correlation! Well done!

    Now kindly use this to predict future temperatures. Please extend your graph and your model to predict temperatures through the year 2060. Oh, wait, we have to wait until 2060 to do that, so that you have the temperature readings with which to predict the temperature readings.

    Also, kindly explain the mechanism (other than hand waving, magic, and climate gremlins) that is actually causing the warming. You’ve described it. You’ve quantified it. You’ve “predicted” it based on a correlation to three temperature based indexes. But explain it. How does a planet with a relatively stable climate suddenly, dramatically warm?
    ——————

    I suppose there isn’t anything very revealing about showing that some indexes based on temperature correlate with an index of temperature, other than the agreement.

  118. sphaerica: June 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm
    Grow up. You can’t live by simply telling anyone who disagrees with you to “shut up.”

    It would seem to me that this is precisely what you have been doing. A little projection there, perhaps? Your rabid protestations to the contrary, your behaviour is quintessentially that of a not-very-practiced troll. You advise me to ‘grow up’ while you rave on like an undisciplined 8-year old in the back seat of the family car. You should also be aware that people eventually just quick-scan your posts for random examples of stupidity to add to their amusement files, chuckle a bit, and move on. You’re killing your own misguided cause.

    I certainly hope that you are doing all of this in a professional (i.e. remunerated) capacity. If so, however, your employer isn’t getting much in the way of a return on investment. There are much better trolls roaming the web. Some of them are regulars here. You should study their posts a bit. At times they are quite subtly misleading, which is mark of the master-troll. Your own efforts have been quite amateurish so far. If you aren’t being paid, and really believe all that nonsense, then I would advise a change of therapists. The current one isn’t helping.

    /dr.bill

  119. sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    One more time: Spencer has shown that, when you account for the phasing of the various natural indices, they interfere constructively in a way which accounts for at least a significant portion of the recent warming. Honestly… stop digging. You’re in deep.

    Please revisit this thread in ten years, when temperatures have cycled back to what you consider “normal”, and all of the years from 2010 to 2019 are coolerthan 2000 to 2009. Then explain to your children or grandchildren how you were part of a movement to deny them the blessings which you enjoyed in life, and to inflict death and suffering upon millions in the Third World.

    Actually, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts you will be explaining to them why you are now hitching a ride on the budding “Global Cooling” bandwagon, and that they need to deny their children and grandchildren the blessings which they enjoy because you are frightened about things which you do not understand, and so should they be, too.

  120. I should have said, “when you account for the phasing of the climate patterns associated with the various natural indices…” Maybe that will make it clearer, but I’m not sanguine about it.

  121. Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm
    phlogiston says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Reasonable extrapolation of Dr Spencers model forward based on the PDO, AMO and SOI trends probably predicts a temperature downturn. A successful forward (as opposed to backward) climate prediction will also be something beyond their experience.

    You missed the point (why am I not surprised). It’s not possible for this model to predict temperatures, and any “successful forward climate prediction” as you call it is not possible with his model, because his inputs are the temperatures. His inputs are the PDO, AMO and SOI indexes, which can only be determined after they happen, and are themselves readings of sea surface temperatures.

    Here’s the point that you are missing: phenomena like the PDO, AMO and SOI are cyclical. This means that they increase and decrease in a repetitive and somewhat predictable way. OK they are not like astronomic orbits, there is some variation and irregularity but they do approximate to sine waves on century scales. We are not talking about a random walk or a noise signal.

    Your assertion that there is zero possibility to predict development of PDO, AMO, SOI for a few decades ahead, your failure to understand that these are cycles, is truly astonishing.

  122. The average temperature of the ocean is 5C. It has hundreds of times more thermal mass than the air.

    We’re basically at the mercy of the mixing rate between warm shallow surface water (16C, 10%) and the vast cold deep (4C, 90%). If it mixes too fast – booyah! – bye bye interglacial, hello ice age. There’s nothing puny man can do to warm the deep ocean and unless that gets warmed it’s a giant heat sink inevitably sucking us towards glacier city.

  123. Dr Bill,

    Sphaerica has offered a differing view – a sensible one imo, one worth looking at. For that he has been repeatedly called a troll.

    Your post is full of nasty little jibes (three uses of the word troll (in case we miss it?) an accusation he’s stupid, under medical care, being paid to post here, that he’s both a ‘master troll’ and ‘amateurish’) – I guess it will be that he’s a communist next, or knows ‘Gore’?

    Can Sphaerica’s cricitc really do no better than such Monckton like attacks?

  124. Doctor Spencer,
    I had to sleep on this to realize what a naughty scientist you have been. Very naughty indeed.

    You chose to use the rate of change of temperature to do your correlations. But what happens when you take the derivative of a straight diagonal line? You get a horizontal line. By taking the derivative of temperature you are removing most of the increasing long term temperature trend and focusing mostly on the variation around that trend. In your derivative, the long term trend rate of change is roughly zero from 1900 to 1920, +0.02C/year from 1920 to 1940 and zero again from 1940 to 1960. Meanwhile the annual rate of change jumps around from about -0.4 to +0.4C/year. You are correlating AMO, SOI, and PDO with natural variation, not with the long term trend, and of course they correlate very well with natural varation around the trend.

    That is also why when I do my regression of temperature vs AMO, PDO and SOI only (Jbar June 8, 5:40PM), my residuals show that something that causes a steady rise in temperature over the 109 years is missing from the regression.

    But why does your regression “predict” a rising temperature from 1960 to 2000 at all? In my studies, I have found that CO2 alone does not give a great fit to the long term trend: http://i45.tinypic.com/id664g.gif It is apparent from this plot that there are some multi-decadal variations which CO2 does not “predict” or fit. However, when you regress the AMO and CO2 vs. temp: http://i50.tinypic.com/2a24ok.gif That fits the long term trend much better than CO2 alone.

    But let’s take a look at AMO by itself: http://i46.tinypic.com/34q23on.gif AMO doesn’t correlate with the long term trend but you can see there are periods when the AMO trend appears to match with the temperature trend – flat and flat, rising and rising, including the rising 1920-1940 period which Dr. Spencer regressed. (It is my conclusion that the long term temperature trend is attributable to BOTH CO2 and the AMO. In the last 30 years warming, AMO and CO2 were both rising, and so the AMO boosted the warming rate above what it would have been with CO2 alone.)

    So what happens when you regress only AMO, PDO and SOI with temperature or temperature rate of change (and as we have seen the AMO correlates with the multidecadal temperature swings)? Why, you are forcing your regression to attribute ALL of the long term trend to the AMO (because you have deliberately left CO2 out). That is why Dr. Spencer’s model does such a good job of predicting rising temperature after 1960. However, I am convinced that if Dr. Spencer did a regression against ALL available variables including CO2 (instead of “cherry picking” only three), then his regression would put CO2 in its proper place as driving the very long term trend while the AMO would assume its proper place in driving much of the multidecadal variation and boosting the recent warming.

    Skeptics take heart. The data suggest that the AMO topped out around the year 2000 and may now be in a flat trend. If my hypothesis is correct, that should mean that the rate of temperature increase should slow for some time because the AMO trend is no longer assisting CO2 in raising temperatures. Perhaps that explains why global temperature has appeared (to some) to be flat for the last decade? Ultimately the AMO will start falling, and that should reduce the warming trend even more.

  125. Peter H-
    Or it could mean that Dr. Bill knows that Sphaerica lives in lower Michigan, to whom the people in the Upper Peninsula refer to as “trolls”.

  126. Round One @ 9:16 PM

    Flap, flap, flap. You are all bluff. Show me the effect of CO2 in our climate system.

    And listen, we are sick and tired of the guilt trips from the AGW people. Encumbering carbon will necessarily raise the price of energy and diminish the lives of all people going forward, including your and my grandchildren. The AGW paradigm constitutes a war on the poor of this earth, and that is why Copenhagen collapsed.

    So please, enough of your fearmongering and trolling. Flap, flap, flap. Show me.
    =======================

  127. Jbar says:
    June 9, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Ultimately the AMO will start falling, and that should reduce the warming trend even more.

    A falling AMO might even result in a negative warming trend. Instead of “negative warming”, you could even call it a c.. c..c.. c.. c.. a c.. c.. c… c.. a – OK negative warming will do fine.

  128. phlogiston says:
    June 9, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Here’s the point that you are missing: phenomena like the PDO, AMO and SOI are cyclical. This means that they increase and decrease in a repetitive and somewhat predictable way.

    Fine… try it. Please produce for me a simple projection of the PDO, AMO and SOI into the future. If they are regular and predictable enough then that should be easy.

    But you can’t, because they’re not.

    Your assertion that there is zero possibility to predict development of PDO, AMO, SOI for a few decades ahead, your failure to understand that these are cycles, is truly astonishing.

    Okay, now with your projected PDO, AMO and SOI, do it. Apply them to the model to predict future temperatures. It seems to me that such an exercise would be not only trivial (if you think it’s possible), but a hugely important part of Dr. Spencer’s post.

    So why hasn’t it been done?

  129. dr.bill says:
    June 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    It would seem to me that this is precisely what you have been doing. A little projection there, perhaps?

    Okay, let’s put this to the test. I have 15 posts on this page before this one, and I see about 25+ posts referencing my posts.

    Now go through my posts and find the abusive name calling, and anything which was unnecessarily vitriolic. Quote the text, and cite the posts they came from (by time posted).

    Now, to be fair, because you are a skeptic and you don’t just work from preconceived notions, go through the referencing posts, and quote the text and cite the posts that are abusive of me, or unnecessarily vitriolic.

    Next, interweave these to see which came first, and who endured how much abuse before snapping a little (as well as how much).

    Finally, you can come up with a scorecard of abusive and inappropriate comments; Sphaerica vs. WUWT regulars.

    Of course, make sure that you are fair. You are a skeptic. You approach things with an open mind, trying to get to the truth, not with an agenda and a predetermined result that you are going to prove, no matter what the cost.

    Do the work and let’s see what the result is.

  130. Round One @ 5:32

    You called my initial post uncivil and unnecessarily vitriolic, when I was pointing out that you were bluffing about the effect of CO2. You have thrown guilt trips which bounce back into your face. You cover your vitriol with honey but you don’t fool any of us; you are fundamentally uncivil.
    =====================

  131. phlogiston says:June 9, 2010 at 12:42 am
    Here’s the point that you are missing: phenomena like the PDO, AMO and SOI are cyclical. This means that they increase and decrease in a repetitive and somewhat predictable way.

    sphaerica says:June 9, 2010 at 5:18 am
    Fine… try it. Please produce for me a simple projection of the PDO, AMO and SOI into the future. If they are regular and predictable enough then that should be easy. So why hasn’t it been done.

    Google Joe Bastardi. He has done it, does it, and uses the data to predict.

  132. sphaerica: June 9, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Now that’s an improved approach. You are learning already, but I will have to disappoint you regarding your proposed busy-work project for me. (At this point, you should write back and say “Ha, I knew you couldn’t dispute what I’ve said!”, and that will certainly ‘put me in my place’.)

    /dr.bill

  133. sphaerica says:
    June 9, 2010 at 5:18 am
    phlogiston says:
    June 9, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Here’s the point that you are missing: phenomena like the PDO, AMO and SOI are cyclical. This means that they increase and decrease in a repetitive and somewhat predictable way.

    Fine… try it. Please produce for me a simple projection of the PDO, AMO and SOI into the future. If they are regular and predictable enough then that should be easy.

    But you can’t, because they’re not.

    Are so.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/08/new-paper-barents-sea-temperature-correlated-to-the-amo-as-much-as-4%C2%B0c/

  134. Tim Clark says:
    June 9, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Google Joe Bastardi. He has done it, does it, and uses the data to predict.

    Googling that name turns up a lot of entries. Can you please provide a link?

  135. jbar,

    The large t-stat on CO2 suggests you have a collineartiy problem. 2 or more of your dependent variables are highly correlated. This is common in time series models. Try removing one independent variable and see if the coefficient on CO2 changes substanially. Also, you can check the eigenvalues and variance inflation factors using your stats program. For further info search for ‘Collinearity Diagnostics’. It also looks like you may have a problem with serial correlation. Most stat programs will provide diagnostics and alternatives to OLS that will correct for the problems. The bottom line is that you should not draw inference from you results until these problems are addressed.

    The larger problem I see is that we need to let theory be our guide with respect to selection of explanatory variables. We can’t fall into the trap of grasping at whatever variables appear to improve our model fit. Theory suggests that all 4 of your explanatory variables belong in the regression, but they are not the ONLY 4. The 2 competing models in this thread both suffer from this problem. The 3 or 4 variables are serving as proxies for the true set of explanatory variables.

    For example, your statement that CO2 explains 52% of variation is only true if your model is correctly specified and contains ALL explanatory variables. Theory suggests CO2 and other GHG’s are important so it belongs in the regresssion. However, as you add the true set of explanatory variables to your regression, the amount of variation explained by CO2 will decline.

    I work in finance and there is a nice example. For decades, stock returns for a given company (percent change in price) were regressed on a constant and a single factor, the ‘market portfolio’ (think a broad stock index like the S&P 500). The results were used to measure beta, the amount of variation in a company’s stock returns explained by variation in the overall market. However, Fama and French showed that when you added a set of ‘true’ explanatory variables to the regression, the coefficient on the market portfolio was no longer statistically different from zero. My intuition is that CO2 is analogous to the market portfolio. Once climate researchers develop better theories, it will guide them toward the set of true explanatory variables and the role of CO2 in climate change theories will be greatly diminished.

  136. stephen richards says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:17 am
    Carlo says:
    June 8, 2010 at 3:09 am

    > Is this so that your mediocre climate school can adjust it’s message to
    >convince more of us that AGW is a valid science? or are you genuinely
    >trying to engage in debate?

    I am not from a “climate school”, but we are studying tool to improve online deliberation and discussion and in this experiment Climate Change is the topic faced.

  137. It is well established that oceanic cycles and pressure cell systems developed over the oceans that then impinge upon the land add heat and allow heat to be reduced over land. The mechanism from ocean heat to atmosphere heat is known and can be calculated.

    Oceanic cycles and SST are based on well known layered temperature cycles between warm and cool occurrences (warm means the upper layer is fairly still and is warm, cool means the upper layer has been mixed with the cooler layer below and is choppy).

    To add CO2 to this model of oceanic indices, you must calculate the affect of IR LW heat penetration into the warming of the oceans. The air temps are the dependent variable, the oceanic conditions are the independent variable. Therefore you must consider CO2 also an independent variable. However, simply adding in the rise in CO2 is meaningless in this study. You must calculate the greenhouse affect on the warming/lack of warming in the oceanic hydrological cycle. And those of you who know about the ability of LW IR heat penetration into the oceans know that this independent variable does not make a differences. Its effect is WAAAYYYY below the SD of the natural oceanic cycles. LW IR can only heat the thin surface tension skin of the oceans and is evaporated away almost as soon as the thin skin warms. The bottom line, oceans cannot store the affects of LW IR heat penetration. Hell, it has a hard enough time keeping in the SW IR.

  138. Dave Springer says:
    June 9, 2010 at 2:05 am
    The average temperature of the ocean is 5C. It has hundreds of times more thermal mass than the air.

    We’re basically at the mercy of the mixing rate between warm shallow surface water (16C, 10%) and the vast cold deep (4C, 90%). If it mixes too fast – booyah! – bye bye interglacial, hello ice age. There’s nothing puny man can do to warm the deep ocean and unless that gets warmed it’s a giant heat sink inevitably sucking us towards glacier city. “””

    This may sound like a silly question (maybe it is !) ?

    If the earth core is somewhere in the 5,000 to 10,000 deg C range; and the surface/lower troposphere is 15 deg C; and you say that the deep oceans are at 4 deg C; and are sucking in ‘heat’ from the warm surface waters; where the hell is all that heat piling up down there.

    It would seem that ‘heat’ is flowing away from the earth core; and you say it is flow down away from the surface; so somewhere down there, must be a humdinger of a heat storage gizmo.

    And why do you say that the deep oceans are at 4 deg C and the average is at 5 deg C ? Have we measured those values.

    I’m not quibbling with your numbers (I don’t don’t have any idea); I’d just like to understand where you get them from.

    I DO get nervous, when people say the deep oceans are at 4 deg C. I know that is common for deep fresh water lakes; as a result of the 4 deg C maximum density of fresh water; but salt water does not have a maximum density short of freezing; at least for the levels of salinity in the oceans. Now I don’t know if there is maybe a pressure effect that alters that sea water behavior; but I get skittish when people say the deep oceans are at 4 deg C.

    But I also want to know where all theat heat is ending up if it is going both in from the surface and out from the core.

  139. “”” Wren says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm
    Sphaerica says:
    June 8, 2010 at 9:54 am
    Dr. Spencer,

    Various web sites define these indexes as:

    The PDO Index is calculated by spatially averaging the monthly sea surface temperature (SST) of the Pacific Ocean north of 20°N.

    The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin.

    [Note that air pressure is dependent upon, and therefore a proxy for, temperature.] “””

    “”” [Note that air pressure is dependent upon, and therefore a proxy for, temperature.] “””

    Just wanted to be absolutely certain that I quoted you correctly.

    So air pressure is a proxy for Temperature.

    I’m vaguely familiar with the gas laws; equations of state and all that; but let’s just for the moment stick with the perfect gas from which we get:- pV = nRT
    So the number (n) of mols of gas in the atmosphere is constant (maybe) and R is a Universal constant; and p is a proxy for Temperature (you say), so presumably p is proportional to T.

    That seems to leave me with V must be constant (well at least as constant as (n) is.) Well I suppose you can argue that the atmosphere is bounded by the surface of the earth and the outer edge of the universe; but then maybe that Volume is expanding; isn’t space supposed to be expanding.

    Maybe there really isn’t any fixed volume to the eartyh atmosphere; My ancient Radio-Physics training says that the ionosphere keeps moving up and down, in response to the sun’s action; so I am not used to thinking of the atmosphere as being constant Volume; so how can pressure possibly be a proxy for Temperature; well other than in the Michael Mann approximation of proxy ?

  140. Jbar says:
    June 9, 2010 at 3:50 am

    “However, I am convinced that if Dr. Spencer did a regression against ALL available variables including CO2 (instead of “cherry picking” only three), then his regression would put CO2 in its proper place as driving the very long term trend while the AMO would assume its proper place in driving much of the multidecadal variation and boosting the recent warming.”

    You mean, it would show the relationship which you favor?

    You appear to be missing the elephant in the room: it does not matter to the skeptics if you can provide multiple models which fit the data. It is the AGW advocates who have the burden of proving CO2 is the culprit. If there are multiple models which produce the same result, then how can you pin the rap on CO2?

  141. Dr Bill:

    With respect, I think you are playing into the hands of the troll who is posting under the alias of ‘Sphaerica’.

    The troll’s blatant purpose is to deflect attention and discussion away from consideration of Dr Spencer’s excellent analysis and its implications. He/she/they are doing this by posting ridiculous assertions (including untrue paraphrases that grossly distort the words of others) and by changing the subject whenever the daft nature of the assertions is pointed out.

    You, me and others have demonstrated that the troll’s postings are factually in error, illogical in content, and often not related to Dr Spencer’s work in any way.

    So, I suggest that the troll be ignored. Let him/her/they post rubbish and allow others to evaluate it for themselves. He/she/they will soon get tired of being ignored and unintrrupted discussion of Dr Spencer’s work can then occur.

    Richard

  142. George E Smith

    Google any reference, the water column 2000-10000 has temperature 0-3 C. Huge gravitational pressure keeps water close to temp of minimum volume (max density) i.e. for seawater, zero. Heat budget takes second place to gravity.

  143. The Earth’s core heating affect is already in the equation as a constant. No need to consider it. The only thing needed is to determine how much SW IR gets passed the outer atmosphere it do its heating job (which is highly variable exactly due to our atmosphere), where that heat goes once it warms the oceans, and how it is dissipated, in terms of climatological affects. Most of the equation has been figured out. It’s the dissipation that we wonder about when SW IR is getting through the atmospheric conditions in higher amounts (IE clear sky, calm “doldrum” winds). It is leaving Earth (or we just can’t find it being stored anywhere), but how is it leaving? Through storm cells? Polar regions? That process is being figured out.

  144. George E. Smith says:
    June 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

    One short, simplistic reference

    The point is that the two are tied together. One is not necessarily a direct, proportional, linear proxy for the other, but they are certainly interrelated… and can you think of any other mechanism, any other source of energy other than heat/temperature, which would cause consistent, measurable variances in air pressure?

  145. Richard S Courtney: June 9, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Richard, I agree wholeheartedly with your attitude towards trolls, and it is the approach that I normally follow myself. If you track back some of the links and comments from sphaerica’s website to other places, there’s little doubt of the troll status, so once in a while I find it good practice to explicitly ‘call BS’, just in case some honest citizen might be taking them seriously. Other than that, and I might rightly be accused of puerility in this respect, I occasionally do it just for fun, somewhat in the manner of a kid poking at an anthill. Mea culpa.

    /dr.bill

  146. Dave Springer says
    June 9, 2:05 am

    We’re basically at the mercy of the mixing rate between warm shallow surface water (16C, 10%) and the vast cold deep (4C, 90%). If it mixes too fast – booyah! – bye bye interglacial, hello ice age.

    On an earlier thread I made a back-of-envelope calculation that, for the deep ocean to “suck” all the heat down from the surface, so that the sea surface layer and troposphere were nowhere more than 3C, the mean temperature of the deep ocean would need to increase only 0.4C. Maybe someone could check this.

    There is a little known quantum effect in very deep water or any other fluid in which due to intense gravitational pressure, space-time becomes slightly “crinkled”. When a baryonic particle passes through one of the convoluted space-time nodes associated with this crinkling, vibrational trajectory becomes folded and thus thermal Brownian movement is negated or annihilated. The consequence is the disappearence of a small amount of heat from such gravitationally pressured fluid volumes, at a steady rate. The deep ocean is, in this way eating Trenberth’s missing heat, and it aint going to give it back.

    (not)

  147. Thanks for this nugget Roy. :)

    I’ve always thought that the natural variability of our ‘various’ climates was more than the IPCC would give credence to. However, I think that there is more than just the phase differences between Earth’s differing reactance entities. Solar output is also important.

    If solar output doesn’t ‘resonate’ at a ‘reactance peak’ of Earth’s reactance entities there will be little energy transfer (I refer to attractors here).

    Best regards, Ray Dart.

  148. Tom and jbar,

    Keep up your discussions please as I’m very much enjoying them.

    May I also make a request that in your discussions that you also include the GCMs as after all it is the ‘without CO2 forcing included versus with CO2 forcing included’ ensemble model runs that the IPCC relies upon to make there case that the late 20th century ‘unprecedented’ warming trend can only be explained by invoking CO2.

    jbar, please note that this is vital to the IPCC’s case for projected future catastrophic global warming and to the cry that we ‘must act now to save the planet’. The IPCC make no specific claims for catastrophic warming due to the effects of CO2 from man’s emissions of GHG prior to the late 20th century. If you like the late 20th century warming trend is like the curved ramp at the end of British aircraft carriers. Without it (unless they are Harrier VTOL jump jets) the planes can’t take of. So it is with the GCM’s and their virtual reality world predictions of CAGW. IOW the hockey stick (the acceleration in warming rate towards the end of the 20th century) matters a great deal to the IPCC.

  149. vukcevic wrote:
    “Northern Hemisphere temperatures trend follows closely the Arctic, with a possible few years phase difference.”

    My sense is that many climate enthusiasts overlook the correlation between Arctic precipitation and Arctic temperature. The key is the reversal of temperature-precipitation relations either side of the freezing point. (We need to bear in mind the continentality of the winter ice sheet. SH is a whole different story and SH dynamics are not so nonlinear.)

    vukcevic wrote:
    “Correlation between variation in the Earth’s magnetic field and the Arctic anomaly is very convincing, but physical relationship as yet unknown.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

    Consider that temperature & pressure are not independent. See the work of Barkin on pressure-related north-south decadal/multi-decadal dynamics of Earth shells. The mystery dissolves.

    Very interesting graph vukcevic. I encourage you to send the graph to Barkin & Sidorenkov.

  150. M77 wrote:
    “The training period doesn’t seem to fit very well before 1920.”

    Stratospheric volcanoes:

    More here (including definitions):

    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/VolcanoStratosphereSLAM.htm

    SSTs are not independent of insolation (not to be confused with irradiance), pressure, & circulation, so talk of “ocean cycles” is basically synonymous with talk of “cloud & optical extinction cycles” (aside from some spatial turbulence).

    Good observation.

  151. The residuals for the model training period are 100% nonrandom — & related to the following:

    Beyond that, although the model stimulates valuable discussion & thinking about natural cycles, it only conveys that temperature is related to temperature.

  152. Just a point of teaching: Roy has developed a classical statistical model in which a segment of data conditions is used to statistically “train” future (but known) temperatures.

    A case in point: The El Nino models are divided between predictive statistical models, considered to be the gold standard, and newer predictive models called “dynamical” models. Statistical models take the parameters of the past that produced known temperature trends and then developed probability outcomes, were these parameters to show up again. The more the historical parameters produce similar trends time after time, the better the statistical models are at being right. Dynamical models are created based on proposed mathematical constructs of how climate conditions work and the resulting temperature trends. Several models are created (in fact not a few of the dynamical El Nino models have GHG influences calculated in), each with its own set of “how climate works” mathematical scenarios, which are then compared to the statistical models. The El Nino models are still in the research stage. It will be interesting to see which models came closest to actual events.

  153. THE best place to look at the difference between statistical and dynamical models is here:

    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/SST_table.html

    I keep tabs on this site monthly. It is informative and instructive as a teaching tool that I use to develop my informed opinions about our current set of climate models. Too bad Hansen does not see the value in such open comparisons between his dynamical models and statistical “gold standard” constructs like the one Roy has put together.

  154. Paul Vaughan
    June 10, 5:41

    so talk of ocean cycles is .. synonymous with cloud and optical extinction cycles …

    it only that temperature is related to temperature.

    I am surprised that you seem to be among those who consider the ocean only 10m deep. It is likely the THC circulation and Kelvin waves drive cycles such as ENSO and the ocean oscillations. If as some imply deep to surface mixing was limited and insignificant, then the oceans would be anoxic and we would be in the middle of an extinction event such as the end-Permian.

    But were not. Climate causation is probably more ocean to atmosphere than the reverse.

  155. I get such a kick out of the IPCC and our own EPA. Both acknowledge that water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. But they both spend all their energies looking for global warming caused by the inferior greenhouse gases CO2, CH4, N2O and exotic CFCs. If water vapor is so important, why don’t they spend more time anlyzing it? After all, of the 15 million or so substances known to man, one – and only one – substance exists at all times in the climate system in the solid, liquid and gaseous state. That substance is water. It is time for scientists to give water (vapor) the respect it deserves not only as the ideal transporter of energy between oceans and air, and equator and poles, but as supreme ruler of the greenhouse gas kingdom.

  156. Dear Bart and feet2thefire,

    Thank you for your comments. It is an interesting discussion (apart from the occasional, albeit minor, flame war).

    Bart quoted me as saying: “However, I think the weakness in this post is the idea that decadal oscillations in climate properties are potentially drivers of climate warming over time.”

    And then replied: Are you considering constructive and destructive interference effects?

    He later added: What he has shown is that the phasing of these natural cycles is such that they constructively interfere in recent times to produce at least a substantial portion of our current warming cycle. What we see in our limited field of view as a secular trend is, in fact, merely an isolated segment of a complex oscillation.

    Yes, I did consider that as a possibility: that the PDO, AMO, and SOI result in a complex oscillation, with various combinations constructive or destructive interactions among them. This would mean, as you point out, that the 100 years of data is probably not quite long enough to show the full cycle of their complex interactions.

    However, I’m not aware that these three are, individually, predictable oscillations. Are they now, in anything other than a crude sense? Also, I don’t believe that Dr. Spencer made that claim. From my reading he merely showed that these oscillations – when and in what combination they occur – can predict the global anomalies. I may be misreading, though.

    I tend to agree with feet2thefire, in that the sun is the ultimate cause of these various oscillations. However, if a pattern of some sort can be established, that would be wonderful. Perhaps, then, the PDO, AMO, and SOI can serve as proxies for the changing cycles of the sun … sunspots, radiance, and wobbles in the Earth’s orbit?

    Bart, you mentioned elsewhere that these oscillations are predictable. Can you expand on that? I’ve seen predictions, based on solar forcings, that the next 20 years or so will be somewhat of a cooling trend. Can these oscillations be used to predict the next 5, 10, or 20 years? I would be interested to see that.

    Cheers,

    -Ted

  157. Paul Vaughan says:
    June 11, 2010 at 4:25 am

    My message was somewhat terse since it was written from a mobile phone – thus the editing. Well no of course the ocean heat input from the surface is a huge factor. Its just that I dont think its the only factor – the oceans are deep and big enough to be able to introduce some cyclical changes in heat delivery to the surface and thus “climate”, perhaps as a delayed reaction to patterns of earlier surface heat input.

    Willie Soon the astrophysicist from Harvard has done some research where he finds a solar signature in climate patterns over the last century or two (nothing original there) but further, he finds a correlation between temporal patterns of solar input at the Arctic and high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, and tropical Atlantic ocean heat and SST patterns a decade or so later. I only read a short interview of his on this and dont have an article to cite. It would be nice if Willie were to post and discuss this here. I like the idea of solar entrainment of ocean cycles. With the considerable work you and others (e.g. tallbloke) have done on analysis of many potential astrophysical periodic climate forcing processes, perhaps you could shed some light on this.

  158. Very interesting post (and website). What I like about Dr Spencer’ s work is that he brings novel ideas in offering additional explanations for the warming of the 20th century. He is a pioneer in trying to force the climatologist community to think outside the AGW paradigm. Of course, as in all pioneering work, there are still lots of questions which still have to be answered concerning the exact mechanisms by which the PDO, AMO and SOI would lead to more cloud cover on a multi-decadal cycle for example. Or what the possible role of increasing/decreasing water vapour content in increasing/decreasing the radiative forcing with multi-decadal oscillations ? Also, the source of the heat for the multi-decadal oscillations has to be determined. The role of the CO2 radiative forcing (with and without feedbacks) also has to be taken into account. Perhaps the measurement of the distribution of the temperatures, salinity and velocities fields in the oceans will allow an estimate of the heat flux coming from the surface of the ocean relative to that coming from the ocean depths. These measurements could allow climatologists to determine the role of the solar and radiative forcings on the increase in heat content of the late 20th century relative to that of the deep ocean circulation.

  159. Bart,
    In science, you are not supposed to throw out data without a d&mn good reason, ESPECIALLY NOT the data that has the highest degree of correlation. Dr. Spencer doesn’t give us a compelling reason why he throws out CO2.

    As Tom points out, regressions should be done with all available independent variables, but Dr. Spencer picks only 3. If you pick any combination of 3 variables out of the available ones, you will find dozens of regressions with some degree of fit, but the objective is to pick the BEST fit, and that requires including CO2 in the mix.

    I have found that a more complete global temperature model (from regressing 14 variables, including SOI and PDO) requires in order of importance, CO2, AMO, El Nino (a proxy for PDO and SOI), sunspot counts (a proxy for total solar insolation and cosmic rays), and the Arctic Oscillation(? go figure), and still 18% of variation is uncorrelated. There are lesser degrees of correlation with other variables as well, but the “confidence level” is less than 95% for them, and sometimes “collinearity” with the above variables bumps them out. (Example: Sunspots AND cosmic rays don’t appear in regression models simultaneously because they are highly correlated with each other, and for the most part one represents the other. Volcanic effects SHOULD correlate, but the confidence level is < 95%.)

    Bottom line: Dr. Spencer is "cherry picking" his variables, throwing out the best one.

    Not only that, he is "cherry picking" his time span, from 1900 to 1960. I compared a regression of AMO, PDO and SOI over 1900-1960 with one covering 1900-2009. The shorter regression fits pretty well with HadCrut temperature, but the longer time span shows that a predictive factor for long-term temperature increase has been left out. (I propose that this is because the long term warming signal is much smaller over 1900-1960 than 1900-2009, and it gets "covered" by the larger "natural variation" "noise".) He SAYS he is doing it so he can use his model to "predict" the future, but I suspect he does it because he has to to get the answer he wants. To be frank, I suspect he has also cherry-picked his temperature data set (Northern hemisphere instead of global temp) and his methodology (taking the temperature derivative and then reintegrating it on the other side instead of just directly using temperature). If you do enough data manipulation, you will often find some way to force what you want out of it.

    In contrast with his method, when I take the 1900-1960 AMO/PDO/SOI vs. Global temp model to "predict" 1961-2009, I find that the prediction deviates from actual temperature more and more with each passing year. The increasing trend line from 1961-2009 is not reproduced by the model. However, when I model 1900-1960 AMO/PDO/SOI/ CO2 vs Global temp, that predicts the 1961-2009 "future temperature" very well. I find that the 60-year model DOESN'T produce the same result.

    I disagree about the "elephant in the room". I think it is CO2. I have some friends who simply refuse to accept it. They will walk all around it and steadfastly avoid it and have an open mind about anything else, but vigorously protest that they don’t see the elephant. WRT CO2, their minds are closed off. One of these friends, let’s call him “B”, I’ve found is ignorant of some pretty basic aspects of AGW theory and results, but he steadfastly refuses to read any AGW publications or web sites. He doesn’t even want to consider it. I suspect that 20 years from now as CO2 and temperature still continue to rise, “B” and “F” will continue to attribute it to ABC – anything but CO2.

    Have YOU bothered to crack open any part of the IPCC report? Not even the summary document? How can you understand if you don’t look at both sides of the argument? I myself have been (temporarily) persuaded of some things by skeptic web sites only to find that when I look up the same topics on AGW sites, I realize I’ve been swayed by rhetoric and glitzy presentation and not science. You can’t claim to have an open mind if you don’t look at both sides.

  160. phlogiston-
    “there is a little-known quantum effect in very deep water”
    We are SO needing a reference for that. I admit a skepticism for people throwing around “quantum” claims for this and that.

    However, your back of envelope calculation seems reasonable.

  161. KevinUK
    Thanks, and sorry. Statistical models are more accessible to the wanna-be armchair scientist. GCMs are beyond my time and capability. For that, I have to take the word of research papers.

    Tom,
    Thanks for the statistical pointers. I will have to look into that. I’m not a statistician and I’m still learning how to use JMP after switching from MiniTab, and the collinearity indicator I’m accustomed to using isn’t in there.

    Back to Kevin,
    Let’s not overlook something else that is very important in the IPCC’s models – their forecast for population growth, economic growth (especially in developing nations), and the fuel mix. Without the explosive growth in CO2 emissions due to rapid population growth and geometric economic growth in large-population developing nations, forecasts for temperature increases would be much more subdued. Those inputs themselves are speculative.

    For example, a recent report suggests that birth rates are falling faster than predicted in many nations.

    From rising commodity prices we can clearly see that this rapid economic growth is putting enormous pressure on industrial resources. Who is to say that commodity prices won’t go so high that they put the brakes on growth.

    Their fuel mix forecasts a shift toward cheap and CO2-intensive coal in the worst case as oil and gas become more pricey.

    Also wages are beginning to increase rapidly in parts of China. This, too, may very well slow down growth to well below the IPCC’s worst case forecasts.

    According to IPCC’s models, the rate of temperature increase doesn’t REALLY take off until about 2040, and a major reason is the multiplicative effect of these three growth factors: population, economic growth, and increasing carbon intensity per megaJoule of energy.

  162. Charles S. Opalek-
    The issue with water vapor is that it is highly dependent on temperature. If temp goes down, water vapor decreases within days. If temp goes up, water vapor will increase within days or weeks through evaporation off the oceans. There’s relatively much water vapor in the tropics, much less in deserts, and orders of magnitude less at the poles in winter. Water vapor’s concentration is a feedback on temperature, and so is its greenhouse effect. It magnifies the effect of things that change temperature, but it can’t independently change temperature itself. It is a “slave” to temperature.

    CO2, CH4 and N2O are much more independent. Their net removal rate from the atmosphere occurs on a much longer time scale. That is why they get more attention as “GHGs”.

    As you say, water vapor must be included in climate models and research. It is one reason for the “climate sensitivity” estimates of 2-4C per doubling of CO2. It is not CO2 that directly causes a 2-4C increase. It increases temperature only a little bit, but the higher temperature also increases water vapor, which in turn increases temperature even more (along with other factors). A similar water-induced sensitivity effect also magnifies changes in insolation, etc.

  163. Ted,
    The AMO appears to have roughly an 80 year cycle, but I am not aware that it is predictable.
    After rising since the 1970s, it appears to have flattened out again (since about 2000), which may continue for 10-20 years before it begins the downward phase of its cycle. But as you say, 100 yrs data is not enough on which to base a prediction for an 80-year cycle. We might as well be predicting stock prices.
    (When I say “flattened out”, I mean its long term moving average. In reality, it jumps up and down quite a bit in the short term.)

  164. This is a little off topic, but it relates to solar forcing.
    In a recent paper, paleoclimatic data shows that the tropical monsoon cycle responds very reliably to the ups and downs of Milankovitch insolation forcing on one of the shorter time scales (either 23kyr 65N forcing swings or the 41kyr obliquity cycle, I forget which),
    but the ice sheets and sea level and global temperature do not respond directly to those insolation forcings. (Otherwise we might not have a 100kyr ice age cycle.)
    The point – the sun isn’t “everything”.

  165. Jbar says:
    June 12, 2010 at 8:02 am

    “It increases temperature only a little bit, but the higher temperature also increases water vapor, which in turn increases temperature even more (along with other factors).”

    Only, it doesn’t, because the formation of clouds dominates, and the overall feedback is negative, as Spencer, Lindzen, and others have shown.

  166. Jbar says:
    June 12, 2010 at 7:09 am

    “In science, you are not supposed to throw out data without a d&mn good reason, ESPECIALLY NOT the data that has the highest degree of correlation. Dr. Spencer doesn’t give us a compelling reason why he throws out CO2. “

    I’m curious, do you think that by pushing your definition of “science” in the preamble, you thereby assume a position of authority by claiming its past successes as your own? Of, maybe you are trying to fool yourself into believing that you are on the side of almighty Science? I got news for you sport: you ain’t foolin’ nobody else.

    In any case, you are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. It is sufficient for Spencer to show that another model which does not include CO2 fits the data.

    “Have YOU bothered to crack open any part of the IPCC report? Not even the summary document?”

    I’ve looked at it in depth. It is a shockingly shoddy document, and the summary for policymakers is pure propaganda.

  167. Jbar says:
    June 12, 2010 at 7:20 am
    phlogiston-
    “there is a little-known quantum effect in very deep water”
    We are SO needing a reference for that. I admit a skepticism for people throwing around “quantum” claims for this and that.

    However, your back of envelope calculation seems reasonable.

    The “quantum” effect was indeed pure bullshit, a light-hearted fabrication – thus the “not” at the end. [Phlogiston et al., J Pure Pseudoscience 1 (1): 1-20, 2010]. The sort of thing that “Daedalus”used to write at the end of New Scientist and Nature.

    I’m looking forward to another post about what’s happening to OHC. For my back of envelope calculation I assumed 5% of the ocean (upper200m) with 12C, 95% (200-4000m) with 3C. I ignored the atmosphere, this is equivalent to only the top 7m or so of the ocean. The world’s shallow seas probably increase the proportion of surface water and thus make my 0.4C figure an underestimate, so perhaps something between 0.5-1 degree might more accurate.

  168. Phlogiston,
    I guess I missed the “not”. Like your moniker BTW.

    Tom,
    You made a comment that in my regression of Hadcrut temperature with AMO, PDO, SOI and CO2, you thought that there was a collinearity problem with CO2.
    Well, THANKS to your note, I finally got off my kiester and figured out how to turn on the VIF (variance inflation factor) display in JMP. (Wasn’t easy. Unhelpful “help” feature.) The VIF values are all under 1.1, which indicates that none of the independent variables are collinear.
    Also the “correlation of estimates” does not indicate any strong correlation between independent variables.

    Bart,
    I think the statisticians in my company would not agree with you at all. I think that they are more likely to agree with Tom who said that you should include as many variables as you can when trying to understand something as complex as climate. I’ve tried it with up to 14 variables, and CO2 always came out on top. I think Dr. Spencer picked only his 3 variables because it gave him the result he wanted.
    It is obvious that if you DON’T want to find out if something is strongly correlated with temperature, you simply don’t look for it. You leave it out of your correlation altogether, just like Dr. Spencer did.

  169. In pointing out that throwing out whatever data you want without a d&mn good reason is strictly verboten in science, “you thereby assume a position of authority
    I’m just pointing out one of the many things that science graduate students have beaten into them during their “rites of passage”.

    I’ve looked at [the IPCC report] in depth. It is a shockingly shoddy document, and the summary for policymakers is pure propaganda.
    Ummm, Bart. Aren’t you assuming a position of authority???
    you are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong
    Ummm, Bart. Aren’t you assuming a position of authority???

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